I used a pacifier – or as my family calls it, a woobie, until I was very old. Too old. So old, I have completely fleshed-out memories of my beloved woobies being taken from me forever. To try to ease the transition, my mom made me a woobie pillow. Basically she sewed my woobies between two pieces of cloth so that I still had them in some capacity to help me sleep. This idea was so original that it was written up in a prominent medical journal – you can still look up my woobie pillow and see a picture of it next to cross-sections of molars and various tooth diseases. Little did my mother (or the greater dentist community) know that my dedication to my woobies was so great, at night I would such through the pillowcase. I ended up needing jaw surgery in high school. So one really shouldn’t believe everything one reads in medical journals. Also, penis-envy or not, the fact that I watch my children sucking on their woobies with envy, 30-some years later, proves that oral fixations are real, and Freud is a genius…

In 3rd grade we had to do an oral history. I interviewed my grandfather who had escaped Nazi Germany when he was the same age. I became totally and completely obsessed with the Holocaust, a phase I have discovered is common with most Jewish kids of the 80s and 90s. I read every Holocaust youth publication there was. I was convinced it would happen again, which is why Roth’s Plot Against America was not a shocking piece of literature to me – I had written and rewritten that story in my mind since I was 9. I only recently stopped sleeping with a pair of sturdy boots under my bed, one of the most saught-after items in concentration camps. I think it has something to do with the security I have found married to a goy, and somehow having produced three little Aryan-looking children…

My brother and I snacked on jars of Gerber chicken sticks through grade school. Hard to believe my mother thought these ultra-processed spears of fake meat constituted as healthy food, but it was the 90s, and we were all confused. It still brings peace to me to imagine those slipper, flesh-toned wieners, sitting in that salty, slightly viscous water. The delight when your teeth punctured that outer layer of skin…

After my dad died my mom wrote to my hero, Mr. Rogers, to tell him of my loss. I received a hand-written note from the man, which I have treasured. Along with the handful of other notes I only learned in college had been forged by my mother. Only the first letter was real. My 20-year friendship with Mr. Rogers shattered forever.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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