May 2010: Relationships

As a first grade teacher, my daily professional life is planned around seasonal celebrations. Fall activities might include leaf rubbings and animal hibernation, and winter studies might discuss   nature’s changes and Holidays Around the World. When the month of May approaches, I ask the class to reflect about the women in their lives. Last May, I shared with you a woman close to me, my mother, Florence Frohman. She continues to be an active synagogue member who assists in planning and implementing the programs at Arden House. She also takes on the responsibility of recruiting other women to polish the synagogue silver two times a year.

“You can choose your friends, but not your relatives” is a saying you might have heard from time to time.  The saying might have a negative connotation if you don’t necessarily get along with your family; however I have quite the opposite relationships. The women I would like to share with you this month are my sister Mindy Sohcot, and my daughters Jill and Lauren.

There are many people who have come up to me over the years and mentioned how envious they are of my relationship with my sister. There are very few days that go by that we don’t speak on the phone. Email has come in handy if we do miss a day. As youngsters, we shared a bedroom. We would often talk at night until Mom told us to go to sleep. During our college years, we would meet at the Student Union at SCSU for lunch. We were each other’s Maid of Honor and continue to celebrate family milestones, vacations, holidays and kitchen clean-ups together. We live about three miles away and enjoy getting together for dinner with our husbands.

Mindy and I were members of several organizations together-Duchess Court #5 when we were both under 18 years old, B’nai Brith Women and we were even co-Presidents of Sisterhood a few years back. We complemented our leadership skills and continue to look to each other for advice.

On May 22nd, I am sharing the ultimate Jewish honor with my sister. We are joining seven other brave women from our synagogue to have a B’not Mitzvah ceremony. We have been practicing our prayers and studying our Torah portion. We will be saying our Aliyahs’ together and will stand side-by-side as we recite our portion. What more can a sister ask for?

Jill, my oldest daughter, is an independent young woman. When she wants something, she’ll go for it. An athlete in softball and volleyball when she was a youngster, Jill would challenge herself to be better than all. She played hard and fast and loved the games. Her dad taught her never to cry if her team lost. She would fight back tears and strive harder to win next time.

I didn’t think that Jill would be a teacher, following in my footsteps. College life leads Jill far north to Machias, Maine. She was recruited to play volleyball. That’s where she met her future husband, Matthew. Jill has been teaching kindergarten in the Dover, New Hampshire school system for six years. We often share “war” stories about our classes on Sunday evening phone calls. She has made good choices that parents would be proud of-yes, she is all grown up.

I can’t say Lauren is my baby, but, as you know, she is!  She is my sounding board, my computer specialist, my laundry lugger, my minyan partner and my personal editor-in-chief. Lauren is an editorial assistant for the Connecticut Parent Magazine. Maybe some day she will work in a larger publishing house. She is a hard worker and is good at what she does. Lauren has also been a great asset in the business aspect of our new venture, Perfect Trigger.

Lauren is stepping up in leadership roles, which makes me proud. Her college experience in the Student Senate at University of New Hampshire has enticed her to get involved at TBS. She is organized and thoughtful in her planning of communications. With the computer technology skills that she has, Lauren has recently volunteered to assist with the Temple Tablet. When we attend Sisterhood meetings, the board members ask for her opinions. She is a hands-on person whose new ideas are the future of our synagogue.

I appreciate and love these special women that are in my life. I hope you take the time to tell yours.