Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Names, They Are A'Changing.

My son has declared that he has a new name.  So, everyone, say, "Hello," to my son Dinosaur.

Following Dinosaur's name declaration, his big sisters decided they want to be known by their middle names.

Why?  Did they think I didn't cycle through ENOUGH names until I finally called them by the correct one (or gave up and just called the child in question, "You")?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wherein My Daughters and I have a Gilmore Girls Moment

After popping outside every so often to check the progress of the eclipse, I woke the big girls around 1:30.  We had time to head outside to watch the moon disappear.

Luckily, it wasn't too cold.  We grabbed jackets and a blanket and sprawled out on the ground to stare up at the sky.  

We pin-pointed constellations.  We talked about outer space.  We watched the moon.  We sang Maccabeats' hit songs.  We laughed like idiots.  We made short videos of us acting like idiots.  I discovered that over-tired 8-year-olds are a lot like my drunk friends in college.  

I had a lot of fun and the girls did too.  This is not something any one of us will ever experience again.  

Finally, just before 3, the girls hinged on certifiably insane and I was crossing the finish line towards completely and utterly exhausted.  So once the moon was completely hidden, we came in for good and headed in a bedwardly direction.  

No matter where we go from here (or when we all finally get there together), we will have the memories of lying under the stars in this front yard, bundled in jackets, watching the amazing sky (and dancing like idiots too).  

Once I was sure the girls were asleep, I snuck back out for one last glimpse.  The shining edge of the moon made me smile.  I can't quite explain it, but I find it exciting and comforting.  It's exciting because this series of events won't happen again for more than 300 years.  It's exciting because I got to spend that time outside laughing with my girls at 2 am (a time they won't see the awake side of again for quite some time).  I find the normalcy of it exciting too.  Things return.  Everything comes back to its normal state.  

I find that whole notion very comforting right now.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When you least expect it

I just posted about the sad little boy who misses daddy and their mother who's frustrated with the whole situation (aka moi).  After taking a break during the writing of that post to snuggle my son, he went on to calm down and get a snack and share it with his baby sister.  

I went on to vent my frustration, finished up and headed into the other room to refill the beloved (and oh so necessary) coffee cup.  

On my way there, what to my wondering eyes did appear?  

I found three of the children in the bathroom.  The baby sat on her potty chair.  The oldest read our old worn copy of The Potty Book For Girls and the son provided a cheering section.  

Suddenly, my perspective has shifted.  

I still want some understanding.  I still want to spare the children this grief.  I still want a freaking break.  Yet I recognize that we have sweet, caring, understanding kids.  I realize that our experience makes me uniquely equipped to meet their needs

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell." Edna St. Vincent Millay

My son is currently screaming and crying in his bedroom.  Why?  On the surface, it's because his flashlight doesn't work.  What it's really about, though, is that daddy is gone again.

This past weekend, when the husband was here, the kids had a great time and instantly bonded with him again.  I turned to him at one point and said, "This is going to be awful when you leave."

Sure enough, Monday night, I wound up with the two weest of our wee ones screaming in my lap and the bigger pair doing their best emo teen impressions.

I've done this oh so many times.  I know how this works.  I know my kids and I know it's going to suck.

At one point this weekend, I turned to my husband and asked, "When do I get to go away so you can see what this is like?"

I don't actually want to be away from the kids (although a night out would be heavenly).  I know that's awful.  My husband left Active Duty because changes in his career field meant he would be away from the family far too much.  I just want some equality in this parenting situation.

When we speak on the phone, I'll relay something the kids have done (because they miss daddy) and my husband will ask, "Why the hell did he/she do that?"  Sometimes he'll tell me, "But that doesn't make any sense."  It, however, makes perfect sense when you're a kid and you miss your daddy.  It also makes sense to a parent who has been through this so very many times.

I am not at all surprised by the fact that I needed to take a break from writing this post to hold a little boy as he cried.  I was heartbroken, but not surprised when the youngest headed to my bedroom yesterday morning and declared, "I go get daddy."  As we left the airport in the dark early Monday morning, I had to listen closely to hear the oldest sniffling in the back seat, but I heard it.

I don't want my kids to ache for a parent they love who can't be here.  I don't want to be away from them myself.  I just wish the husband could understand.  I wish he would know what this was like (for me and the kids).  I wish that I didn't have to be the only one rocking screaming children and wiping away tears.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"I need you. I don't know why, but every now and then in my life, for no reason at all, I need you."-Sarah "Labyrinth"

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  The husband's brief visit ended (his visit explains why I vanished from the Blogosphere last week).  We had to drop him off at the airport at O'Dark Thirty in the morning.

The day was then just one miserable experience after another.

Among those miserable experiences was the vehicle deciding that running was optional and it wasn't an option the van actually wanted.  Of course, the kids had Hebrew school which is nowhere near our house and therefore requires a working vehicle.

Luckily, a friend lives in my area AND is a Hebrew school teacher.  So she (G-d bless her) was able to bring the kids there and back (this bears repeating, caps, & excessive punctuation G-D BLESS HER!!!).

Later, that same friend complained that her day wasn't productive.  This was a shock to me because she really saved us.  Plus, in my awful day, she was the one bright spot.  I think contributing to the education of the children (by actually getting my kids' butts there and teaching other people's kids) AND restoring faith in humanity are both very productive.

With the husband still out of state and the vehicle still refusing to work, I thought today would be another miserable day like yesterday.   Then, I got a last minute call to babysit.  There was a death and a funeral and a 2-year-old whose mother needed to attend to the first two.  The death and funeral are beyond me, but the two-year-old needing watching, that one I've got covered.

So she came over and joined the goat rodeo for the day.  Everyone had a blast.  We built with blocks.  We read books.  We played dress up (at one point, I was wearing an Xmas tree skirt as a shawl,  a shower cap and sunglasses shaped like a bat), we read more books, we had snacks.  Her mom was very thankful.  It really wasn't a big deal for me, but it helped her out quite a bit.

Amazingly, I found all this left me with no time to wallow in another terrible day.  Being needed, being able to help and knowing that our help was very much appreciated helped completely turn my mood around.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Kids Rock At This Sibling Stuff
(spelling, not so much).

My oldest daughters invited their brother to a sleepover in their room. Not only that, they made him a (horribly spelled, but very cute) invitation promising him loads of fun and "gost storys."

*Come to our PJ Party.

Time: 6:30
We will tell ghost stories and have so much more fun.

And here we see that he had so very much fun that he's now bundled in his sleeping bag passed out cold on their hard floor even without his pillow (it's actually there--about 3 feet away from him).

Oh, I do so love my kids.  It's stuff like this that prevents me from trying to sell them on Ebay.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sellabr8ing Han-oo-kah, Ur Doing It Rong

These lovely ladies were seen in line at a Chanukah event.  There were about six of them all decked out in Xmas sweaters, Santa hats and giant red and green bows.

After witnessing (and being baffled by) this little inappropriate fashion show, the children had a request.  They would like to wear this at an Xmas party.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

"I live in a crazy time."--Anne Frank

Right now, I'm disheartened and I'm horrified.

There is a blatant act of anti-Semitism where Jews are portrayed as vicious blood-thirsty monsters.   Some people I support are promoting it.  When I read it, I was very disturbed.  I pointed out to the group that it was blatant anti-Semitism and I have come to find that the majority of (vocal) people in that group not only don't see it as such, but are arguing with me over the fact.

One such person has made it very obvious that he actually believes the lies in this anti-Jewish propaganda.  He believes certain Jews are monsters.  He came right out and used that exact word repeatedly.

Another person suggested that Jewish tradition is responsible for anti-Semitism.  She claims to have heard Neo nazis discuss those weird Jews, so obviously we did this to ourselves.  She saw no problem in that theory.

These people have made the "I'm sorry you're offended, but it's not anti-Semitic" argument.  One person suggested I was "Anti-semitic sensitive."  I'm not.  I am not one to jump on the "That's anti-Semitic" bandwagon over every little thing.  This, however, is not a little thing.  This is actually a group that I've defended from others who accused them of being anti-Semites.  I argued that, no, that's not what they're about.  But now I see, that for some, it actually is.  This horrifies me.

To a certain degree, I think non-Jews might think we're over-sensitive to anti-Semitism in certain respects just because they don't have the same life experience.  We have different understandings, difference experiences and different world views.  Yes, there are some of my fellow Yids who could be classified as "The boy who cried anti-Semitism," but that's not most Jews.

Luckily, all the non-Jews with whom I shared the anti-Semitic information and who have replied agreed that it was, in fact, anti-Semitic and horrifying.  My fellow Yids who saw it have all been very upset.  I was relieved to hear the non-Jews agreed because I'm really doubting humanity right now.

I'm at a loss.  I'm disheartened.  I'm horrified.  How can people be so hateful as to do this?  How can people be so daft or uncaring as to not see blatant anti-Semitism.  I find it chilling that so many people not only didn't see it, but then argued with me about it.

I'm so thrilled that I have friends who recognize cruelty and hatred.  It really did make me feel better to know that there are people out there who recognize this hatred and are horrified by it too.  At the same time, I'm saddened that it exists.

I was just talking with E today about how, in Germany, her great grandmother's rabbi built a sukkah in his apartment.  When I first heard that story and pointed out that building one indoors didn't fullfill the mitzvah (it needs to be outdoors among other things), Bubbe told me, "It was Germany.  We were Jews.  You just didn't do that there then."

In this day and age, my children's only experience with such hatred should be through stories--old stories of days long ago.  These should be old stories from which we all have learned and moved on to compassion and understanding.

And yet, here, in America, to a frightening number of people, we are still monsters and still portrayed as such.  Even more chilling is that when we are portrayed as such, there are those who argue that it is NOT anti-Semitic.