Great news! Daddy has started driving himself to work again this week! After 15 weeks things are definitely improving. Last week he got rid of the crutches as well as the boot. It will still be some time before he is back to “normal” for even though the bone is healed up the muscles in the leg had not been used in 3 months and not only does he have to strengthen the muscles, he has to make sure not to fall or twist his ankle in the process. He is getting there! I will miss those few minutes twice a day when it was just the two of us, but I am glad that I will have those few extra minutes with the boys again in the mornings. For some unknown reason no breakfast jobs get done if I am out of the house. Can’t quite figure that one out, but with me being home at the time breakfast jobs need to be done, they are more likely to get done. 😉
Pesach is definitely around the corner and it has been cold and snowing outside today. We are almost finished the inside of the house, but the car, I am not quite sure when we are going to do it for it’s been cold last week and it will be cold for the rest of this week! However, as I like to say, it will somehow get done. Other than the kitchen, I have just the boy’s room to do plus 5-10 minutes of work in a few of the other rooms. The progress has been decent considering that we have not done most of our secular work in almost a week, but I do not let that bother me for this is part of our real life learning which is important as well. I have to keep reminding myself that yes, the actual “textbook” (so to speak) learning is very important and is most of we have to do, however, never forget the importance of knowing how to live. It is hard for that is something they do not really do in a school so one can feel guilty about doing it at home. Yes, they might study about it, but they do not “learn” about it in school. The learning comes from the actual doing. When my boys move out they will need to know how to clean for Pesach and how important it is. Nothing beats seeing Mommy clean and them physically having a hand in the cleaning. This is all part of the learning process and when they physically do something it gets ingrained into their beautiful minds better.
I actually have quite a few different things I was going to talk about but I think I will save some of them for a different time. This past week or so has been one of those teary eyed times in teaching and parenting – you know, those moments you want to frame and save. Those moments in which you see your child has grown – at least for a few seconds here and there.
I realize that if I want to engage my children into learning things like good habits or the love of mitzvos with little or no struggle, the solution is for them to see me do it. For example, if I would like them to give tzedakah, I give each of us a coin and we all pass around the tzedakah box. Our cleaning was not going so hot to begin with so, instead of giving each boy some chore somewhere in the house to do (while I clean somewhere else,) I decided we were all going to clean in the same room.
The room we all tackled first was the basement. It was not that bad to begin with but it did need to be cleaned. We got a lot done with the cleaning when I realized it was class time with their Rebbe (I have made sure they still attended their kodesh classes.) “Boys, class!” There are still times when I don’t know whose class it is, but the boys know and that generic call will get the proper boy to the proper class. They always do enjoy going to class, however this time the reaction was extreme. Boom boom boom boom boom boom across the floor. “MY CLASS!” “MINE TOO!” Were they excited about class or wanting to get out of cleaning? I cannot tell you for sure. 😉 I do know that the excitement they showed did put a smile on my face no matter what the cause. True they were not running to learn with me, but they were running to learn Torah and no matter what the reason for the added excitement for that day it will always put a smile on a parent’s face to see that kind of desire to learn Torah.
There was another one of those moments this week. It was today. Rabbi Resnick posts texts and pages in the classroom so that everyone can read along with him and no one needs to purchase or print off anything extra if they do not want to or cannot do. Today I was sitting across the room and watched as one boy got up to get the physical gemora so he could read along with him from the source, all on his own accord. This is not the first time he has done this. He will go get books for class on a regular basis. What was so special about today? I am not sure. I might have been more in the mood for teary eyed situations to begin with but for some reason it just dawned on me what this really meant. All parents worry about their child(ren) and all parents wonder if they are doing the right things for their child(ren). This particular boy and his parents are no exception. “Are we teaching them the right way? Are they going to stay along the path of Hashem?” This one little act of getting a sefer on his own accord to learn from is not going to guarantee anything, it does however tell me that perhaps we are on the right track, and with our continued prayers to the Almighty and our continued guidance, he is headed along the right path and will IY”H stay there.
As I drift into Lala Land and try to picture that Spring really is here while it is below freezing and snowing, and dream about the food I need to buy and make sure I have all the frogs and hail and wild animals ready for next week, I just have to smile at a conversation I had with a boy today. “Um, (beautiful boy), what is on your neck?” “Red marker. I put it on and wiped it off so it will look all red.” And he smiles as he points to his arm as well. (His wiping it off smudged it all over so it was an even red tinge.) You see, he wanted to have a red neck… Redneck… Yup, that is my boy. He is a real keeper.
Wishing you all a Happy and Kosher Pesach!