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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Green

The Evil of Cell Phones

I blame myself. I blame my cell phone. These phones suck us in and divert our attention. That's why I missed Mom when she came out of the bathroom.

We were having lunch at our favorite restaurant, The Vineyard, overlooking the Mediterranean. Mom had already downed three glasses of lemonade that we'd thinned with water even before the main course arrived—because she drinks a lot and complains that water has no taste—. She'd ordered the mushroom quiche.

My dad was with us, too. In fact, walking to the restaurant had caused a certain amount of stress as Mom was anxious to see him. She worriedly explained that she couldn't trust anyone, not even me, to find him. I started singing some of her favorite songs to distract her, which helped, but until she saw him, she was unyielding in her disfavor with the world.

At the end of the meal, Mom and Daddy went off to find the bathroom together. I guess Mom came out before him and made her way to the outside tables. I was sitting right where she'd left me, but she didn't see me. And I, playing with my phone, didn't see her either.

It must have been a few minutes before Daddy came out and found her pacing the restaurant in utter fear. She even shouted at me.

"How dare you move away when I'm looking for you!" she yelled.

It took another few minutes to pacify her and apologize for my serious lack of attention.

I don't know how mothers of young kids do it today, but when my three were little, I didn't have that constant distraction. I vividly remember participating in all their antics, their water games on the front porch, the puzzles and projects, the books we'd read. In many ways, I feel like Mom is my fourth child. It is my job to protect her, to give meaning to her time, to pull her out of bad moods, to guide her to the right locations.

She couldn't find me. For those few minutes, I'd failed in my job.

Happily, when it was time for me to head home, Mom had forgiven and forgotten. She graced me with hugs and kisses and told me she loved being with me.

How easily lost we become. How fickle the mind.

This week marks my son's 2nd wedding anniversary to his talented and beautiful wife (yes, I'm a biased mother-in-law), and my husband's birthday. It's a given I'll be making chocolate chip cookies for our gathering.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband Jeff used to make these cookies every week. The small, tasty treats would find their way to our kids' schools, our offices, and of course, our Shabbat table. Now that we're alone during the week, he's stopped making them. When we do make them, they are a special pleasure.

¾ cup oil

1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2½ cups flour

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 package chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk oil and sugars in bowl until yellow and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and baking soda. When dough is formed, add chocolate chips. (For extra fun, mix white and brown chips.) Using a teaspoon, place dough in small amounts on a cookie sheet covered in baking paper at least 2 inches apart to allow cookies to spread. Bake 10 minutes. Can make up to 75 small cookies.

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