What Kiki Schaffer Learned from Her Mom

kikiWe recently sat down with Kiki Schaffer, Director of the Parenting, Family and Early Childhood Center, to talk about her mom and what she learned from her. 

Come hear Kiki tell her true life mother stories on November 25th atWHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas,” an evening produced by Kveller.com and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture

Question: Describe your mother in five words.

Answer: Strong, loving , adventurous, dramatic, glamorous.

Question: What did you learn from her about motherhood?

Answer: I learned to be fiercely loyal to my family.  And I learned that spending time with my children was life’s greatest joy. My mother was a brave, bold, independent woman, but she worried so much about her kids’ safety and happiness.  I learned there must be something about giving birth that releases into the Mama a long-lasting worry hormone.

Question: Does she influence the way you teach parents to parent at the Y?

Answer: Absolutely.  I carry her inside of me always.  She was the quintessential caregiver.  My mother was also a lot of fun.  She had very creative strategies for those challenging parenting moments, strategies that involved playfulness and surprise:  inventing games,breaking into song in tense moments, acting out little shows, word plays.  But she was also very, very critical and sarcastic.  That is something that I wanted to avoid as a parent and parenting professional.

Question: Can you give us a little sneak peak of the story you will be telling about her on the 25th?

Answer: In 1941 my parents left Brooklyn Harbor on a freighter bound for Africa.  Their ship, the Robin Moor, was about to become the first US ship to be torpedoed by the Germans during WW II.  They were given 20 minutes to get into lifeboats and then they watched the German submarine sink their ship.  What happened after that was the stuff of an enduring family story.

Make sure to join us at this unique event where you can hear writers get personal about their lives as modern-day mothers. Featuring writers from the Forward, Kveller, Tablet and LABA Fellows, including: Carla Namburg, Jordana Horn, Tamara Reese, Adina Kay-Gross, Marjorie Ingall, Brooke Berman, Karen Hartman, Elissa Strauss, Adi Ezroni and LABA teacher Ruby Namdar on the meshugganah mothers of the Torah.

WHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas takes place November 25, 2013 from 7-8:30pm at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Tickets are $10. Click here for tickets and for more information. Come from the kvetching, the kvelling, and the free wine.

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