Everyone’s Included in Monkey in the Middle and What Kind of Bat Mitzvah Will She Have

A boisterous game of “Monkey in the Middle” overtook our family room after Shabbat dinner last week. Astonishingly, nothing was broken and nobody got hurt. Laughter, happy yelling, and lots of good-natured teasing kept the blue-and-white beach ball airborne and away from the “monkey,” who in this game, was my daughter.

My only little girl is a feisty 8-year-old. She holds her own with big green-gray eyes, a smattering of freckles, a knowing smile, and a steely grip amid the three brothers who love nothing more than to give her a hard time about, well, everything: that she mispronounces “bird,” that she’s something of a busybody, that she prefers to keep her room testosterone-free, and yells “out” as soon as a male body, canine or human, places a smelly toe over the threshold.

Read more here.


This post first appeared on Kveller.

4 thoughts on “Everyone’s Included in Monkey in the Middle and What Kind of Bat Mitzvah Will She Have

  1. I don’t have a daughter but reading your vivid description made this situation real for me. I’m glad it was not herself being left out that she was worried about, yet your question remains a valid one. How does one navigate tradition and modern reality? I don’t know what I would have told my daughter if I had one but it’s such an interesting question to contemplate. Thanks, havera, for making me think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you call me “havera” I get warm goosebumps 🙂
      I hope she can maintain this perspective as she grows in our progressive but still Orthodox community. The challenge is not to let my own doubtful feelings creep in. Even though we love our community and embrace Orthodox Judaism.
      I hope things are going well for you, Katia yekara. I loved your letter to the boys about going back to work. Neshikot.


  2. OMG was just going to say “going there now” but saw you and Katia’s comments to one another (which I dont get) and I’m so so happy that I introduced you two!!! I KNEW you’d love one another – I adore you both and well… *cough* going away now to read your piece. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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