Glancing Back at Summer

20140814_185833It is so refreshing to take a walk with my 5 year old. He is still young enough that he has a sharp eye for the things us bigger people just do not see. He did not want to come for a walk with me, but I dragged him along (literally had to do it for the first few steps, after that he was fine. 🙂 ) I needed out of the house and didn’t want to go by myself. We chatted for a while, found worms and slugs (a first for him). When we finally turned back around to go home, he hit the jackpot! No, not any chairs this time for it had been garbage day. (Baruch Hashem!) It was another amazing treasure for boys.  They might call it “Gold Dust,” but without the gold.

“Mommy, can I bring home some dust!?!?!?” (As if I need anymore dust in my house!) “It stays outside and does not come into the house.” “Ok. I need a bucket.” “Does it look like I have a bucket?” as I stand arms apart. I then precede to hand him an imaginary bucket. He laughs. I tell him to use his hands and carry it home.

He gathers some dust and we start to walk back home. He is careful, like a 5 year old, with his gold mine when I felt pity on him and started to wonder if he would have any gold dust left by the time we made it 15 minutes to the house. I offered to stop at a friend’s house on the way and ask if they might have a plastic cup or something we could have. Our friend found a paper towel and our gold was safe. Now, we had to make the trek BACK to the mine to fetch more dust.

We finally started walking back and found more worms and slugs. As we passed a worm, I bent down and gathered it up with a leaf to take it off the rough sidewalk and put it on the grass. He then told me to stop and he took out his dust and needed to put some beside the slug. I told him not to put it on the slug for that would not be nice, and he knew that, he just wanted to be nice and put it next to the slug. We then preceded to find more slugs so he could be nice to them as well. Not sure how that was being nice, but he felt it was the right thing to do. Cannot argue with a 5 year old!

It has been an interesting summer. I am still trying to figure out how it went. There is always 20140814_144503stuff we do not do during the year and I have been trying to make it up in the summer times. I think last year was the most successful year. I decided to work on that and have an even better summer with regards to things that needed to be done. I listed all the things we were going to work on this summer and made a schedule. It seemed like for a week or so things were going per my schedule, however, I did not like it. Something was missing. It finally dawned on me – I was not able to do my summer cleaning! For me, it was still like school. So, I decided to just keep the parsha, chitas,mishnayos, along with the new Gemara learning the boys are doing with their father (Makkos,) and one special project, everything else was ditched. I spent several days not doing much and feeling guilty about it (but not giving in to my guilt!) and by the end of the week I had a much nicer kitchen. I seemed to just have more time.

As some of you know by now, where we live we can recycle items by putting them out by the road. Last week my oldest came home:

“Mom, I need to get the wagon, I found a huge fish tank – with a stand, heater, light, filter, food and everything! Except the fish.” “We already have a fish tank.” (Not in use, but we have a nice 10 gallon tank.) “But Mom, this is a really HUGE one!” 😐 I try to explain to him that I am trying to get RID of things, not acquire more stuff. He was persistent.

“But someone let me put it on their lawn until I came back with the wagon!” Now he is making me feel guilty for he now has to fulfill a promise he made to someone.

I finally told him that he had to get rid of that amount of volume of stuff and he had to find a place for it. I even helped. I had him get rid of a broken 2 drawer cupboard for starters from the living room and he put the tank there. It is a 55 gallon tank. I made them check the seals of the tank in the tub before they were allowed to fill it up. In the end, the tank was filled in the living room and the filter turned on. After a few days the oldest took his hard earned money and bought 20lbs of rocks, a decoration, a backdrop and of course, two fish. The next morning we woke up to a nice surprise – a baby fish! We all learned something new – I thought all fish laid eggs, but there are also live bearers. So, off to the pet store we went to get a net to separate the little ones from the big ones, and we also got 4 more fish. It turns out we caught 7 babies in total, with 4 still alive. (Now is is an awesome time for the benefits of homeschooling! Love how we can learn, and in the middle of the day as well!)

I had been thinking that the summer was just not as nice as I was hoping, but if I look back and remember all the neat stuff that happened, and most were not planned, I realize that it did not turn out all that bad. Yes, there were things that I did not care for, but if things were to be different, all the nice things would have to change as well, and I am not willing to give up any of those. It is nice and comforting to sit and look at the fish. I enjoy peeking at the little babies every day.

In the meantime, I have done a little bit of cleaning in the basement and decluttering. I have a little bit more that I would like to do before school starts. I have decided on books for the boys and just have to put it into a schedule now, and before I get too worried, my not-even-14-year-old is starting college in just 4 more days! AHHHH! I’m fine, really, and I am so glad I am finished my schooling. I think it is time to look at the fish. 🙂

Wishing everyone the best in their new school year!

Life Goes On For He’s Fully 5!

20140801_182059These last several weeks have been hard to do the things that I need to do.  I wake up, do our breakfast routine and then the computer gets opened. Facebook news read with all the news from the morning hours in Israel. Muqata’s Facebook page gets scanned for those unfortunate brave souls that are no longer physically with us along with any other links. I do my morning routine with the boys and try not to look until around lunch time and then the news article reading starts again. And again in the afternoon and evening. It is like an addiction. And then it hits me. Looking at the what my friends and family are doing in Israel I see one thing in common (besides all the comments about the mamads (bomb shelters,) They are still going to museums, still going to the beach, still going out for dinner, etc. Still. Yes, there multiple sirens in the day that do interrupt things, however they do not let it stop their living. They work, they play, they learn, they live.

I might be physically away from what is happening, but emotionally and spiritually we are close, we all are. We have our soldier, our chayal, that we daven for and learn for, along with the rest of the soldiers. But just like my friends and family in Israel, we too have to keep on living. We alter our day a little bit and we think about different things now but we continue. Life does not stand still.

I was reminded about this need to remember to live life for my little one, who is not so little anymore, turned fully 5 last week (after having both his English and then his Hebrew birthday.) It is not my constant worrying that will make a difference, it is the mitzvos that we do is what is going to really make a difference. I hope that this week will be easier for me to get motiviated and do more of the many things I need to do; organizing for next school year, getting my oldest ready for college, trying to just clean, etc. In other words, I need to remember to live.

As we are closing in on the saddest day of the year, Tisha B’Av (9th of Av), which starts tonight, I have been trying to do some self introspection (a second Rosh Hashanah maybe, or perhaps for once just a really good head start to Rosh Hashanah?) Wishing everyone an easy fast and may we all instill in ourselves baseless love for everyone so we can have the final redemption.