Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Out of fear

A million years ago, in March, I wrote about my fear that my time with my children will be cut short. True, this fear is in some ways particular to belonging to a minority with a tendency, over the ages, of being intermittently hunted down and killed. But it is also the general and natural fear that arises with intense love—fear of losing what I have.

This apprehension serves me when it increases my vigilance about my children’s safety. My instinctive parenting is style is, shall we say . . . relaxed. I believe in letting my children learn about the universe and society by experiencing them firsthand.

When my baby daughters were first learning how to climb, we lived in a townhouse with carpeted stairs. And so I let them climb up and fall down the stairs, over and over, until they learned how to climb well and cautiously. Their first birthday photographs show them cheerfully inhaling cake, their foreheads marked with purple bruises.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I deserve it

Jews greet the day with the following words: “I am grateful before You, Living and Enduring King, for You have compassionately restored my soul within me. Great is your faithfulness!”

And when I say “Jews,” I mean Jews other than me. I greet the day with the following words, “Ugh. Sunshine? Seriously? Kharmarflaflafraf coffee kharmarflaflafraf ugh.”

And sometime after that cup of coffee, grudgingly clothed and prepared for the day, I remember “Modeh ani—I am grateful before You.”

But just between you and me, internet, I’m not grateful. Not most of the time. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Other than the pain

My body is working fine. My muscles, my nerves, my respiratory system, my brain. All functioning and thriving.

My mood is joyful, serene. I have energy and inspiration.

Only—my leg and part of my back are in constant pain right now. And while I am pursuing healing and relief in various ways, I can't be sure when or how or if it will end.

The other night I was lying in bed, trying to sleep while the pain noodled around in my leg. I thought, how can I relax, how can I sleep when I am feeling this way?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Away or the garbage and the two-minute turnaround

A friend told me how her father used to help her clean her bedroom when she was a kid. Every few weeks, he would get fed up with the mess, and he would come in with a big black trash bag and start throwing everything away. And then he would say, “All this stuff is going in the dumpster right now!” But he didn’t have the heart to throw out her toys. So he would hide the bag in the garage instead, where she would sneak in, find the bag and put everything back in her room. And the cycle continued.

How do you get your kids to pick up toys? It’s kind of a sisyphean task, no? That boulder just keeps rolling back down the hill.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Revisiting calm and peace

New blogger devorahs commented on this post and asked:

When you realised you were "no longer a mother trying to force a little timely nutrition, but a force for calm and peace in my home", what did you DO???

That’s a good question. As in, how does a force for calm and peace do her dishes? That sort of thing?