I was informed by WordPress that sometime last week was my first blogging birthday. Hard to imagine it has been that long! Also, I would like to wish my Tu B’Shevat Birthday boy a wonderful 2 birthdays as well – Shabbos was his Hebrew birthday and today is his English birthday.
At 4:40pm this afternoon Daddy emailed me and asked me if I was there to pick him up from work. I had tried to email him about an hour before, but I had three boys using three computers to do math (all in one room,) and my phone was in the bedroom with the boy who was napping, so I had to use my Kindle to try to email. It is hard to type emails on the Kindle, and I did not send the email to the right address and so he never got it. I apologized and I went to get him. He wanted me to drop him off at the JCC, which we just joined, so he could exercise and study. I was having one of those afternoons. All three boys doing math had tantrums all at the same time which lasted for the entire math period which ended up lasting almost 2 hours, I still had to go shopping, had not done laundry and my kitchen was a disaster. I was wiped. I was fine at 3pm, but almost 2 hours later it felt like midnight! It is amazing how tantrums drain you. My boys are tired. Ever have one of those days?
Supper? BARUCH HASHEM! That is all I can say. Chicken and extras that were in the cholent pot were still there and it was still nice and hot. Yes, my boys will eat cholent from Shabbos during the week (they really have not choice. 😉 ) It was more of a stew oppose to a cholent so it helped. Yes, the most important thing was done. Baruch Hashem! The worst thing is having 5 boys with empty tummies – tantrums from math, well just times it by 2 or 3 with no food!
I had the opportunity to go hear Charlie Harary speak last night. He is a wonderful comedian and some of his videos can be found on Aish.com. His main point of the talk was how to tap into our inner greatness. If we go through life and just sail on through it, then we will not tap into this greatness. We access our inner greatness – our potential – when we are faced with challenge. When we work at something and we think we just cannot go on, it is at that moment that we need to push forward. The moment we push forward we access our inner greatness. It does not matter if we “succeed,” what matters is that we tried our hardest even when things looked grim. When we have tapped into this inner greatness, we can go to bed at night happy and feel good about ourselves.
I have a beautiful boy who hates work. He does not just not like it, he absolutely hates work of any kind. I remember learning with the boys that Benjamin Franklin hated to work and that is why he invented all the things he did – he was trying to make his life easier as well as the lives of others. I found that amazing that he used his love of being lazy to work so hard at all the amazing helpful things that he created. But not for my son today. He had troubles reading a word in Chumash, a tantrum. “It’s too hard, I can’t do it!” Math getting him today, “I give up, I can’t do it!” A brother trying to save him from scrubbing the dirty cutlery tomorrow morning informing him that he put them in wrong and they will not get cleaned AND even nicely telling him how to fix it, nope, won’t do it.
I have sat down with him a few times today to try to talk to him. Once I tried to tell him that life is work, that is just what we have to do. Sometimes things are easy, but many times they are hard. It is at that precise moment that we have to try just a little bit more and usually we will find that we really can actually do it. These are our challenges, our chance to show how great we really are. The second time I tried to talk to him about why his day was so terrible to him. We all have choices, we all run our own lives. It is us, not Hashem. We get to choose if we want to throw a tantrum. We get to choose if we want to give up or if we will try again. It is all our choice. We even get to choose if we are happy or not – even if everything we tried went wrong. I am not sure anything sunk in. It is hard growing up. He definitely brings out my inner greatness to try to teach. It is not that he cannot do it, it is just that when things get a little bit difficult he does not want to even try. It’s too hard.
English reading was difficult for the longest of time. He definitely was a late reader and the last few years I just let him hang out with it on his level. This year I am very pleasantly surprised at what he can do – but this level did not come without a lot of tears to begin with. I know I have to sit down with him and push him to work in other areas now. I am just not quite ready yet mentally. I do not really look forward to the hard work we both have ahead of us, but I know that once that hard work is over we will both be so happy. It is something that just has to be done.
In the meantime, I hope that he will think just a tiny bit about something that I tried to tell him today and hope that he will have a beautiful sleep for tomorrow is a fresh new day with its own new challenges and another chance to try to tap into our inner self and pull out our greatness.