Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ko tomar

My daughters came home from gan wearing paper Torah crowns and eating ice cream. We put away the groceries together and milled around in the kitchen.

“On Shavuot night,” A.N. informed me, “The abbas and the boys who are bar mitzvah go shul and learn Torah ALL NIGHT!”

“Just the abbas and the boys?” I asked. Both girls nodded emphatically.

“What about the big girls? And the women who don’t have little kids?”

They thought about it. Y.B. offered, “The imas go to shul to bring cookies for the abbas and the boys.”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Earthly Jerusalem

This morning, I took B.A. to the Old City to visit the Kotel, the Western Wall. Today was Yom Yerushalayim, the day Jerusalem was liberated in 1967 from Jordanian rule and returned to Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2,000 years.

B.A. will turn three next month. He is not old enough to understand much about the holiday. But his gan was closed for the morning, and he is old enough, finally, to appreciate a long outing with his mother. So we rode the train to city hall and walked, hand in hand, from the train stop to the Old City walls, through the arab shuk, down the stairs to the Kotel plaza.

Before we left, we had a brief argument about whether people may bring large sticks to the holiest site in Judaism. After we reached the plaza and went through security, running my purse and his small knapsack through the x-ray machine, I couldn’t resist pointing out, “Good thing you didn’t bring your stick.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The secret burn

I didn't see Y.B. burn her finger on the grilled cheese sandwich. I looked up when she began to cry and scream.

“What happened? Did you bite your finger?”

“No.” Sob. “I burned it.”

"On your sandwich?"


I couldn’t believe the cheese inside her sandwich was so hot, but I showed her how to run her hand under the tap, how to get relief from the cool water. She was crying so hard. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes at the dramatic display. Then I let it go. She hurt herself. This is her reaction. Fine.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The awkward immigrant

This morning, I had such a hard time getting the kids out of the house. And when their teacher had finally urged them, sobbing and sniffling, into the classroom and locked the door behind them all, I sat down on a sidewalk bench to rest and prepare for the day.

It was a breezy, overcast morning in the midst of a warm spring. I love a good cloudy sky, so I sat on the bench and reviewed my to-do list. I was getting over a bad cold, and when I sneezed loudly, a traffic cop stopped ticketing a parked car and responded in a comically loud voice, “BLESS YOU.”