My son's kindergarten class held a mock wedding today in honor of Parshat Chayei Sarah. And my child volunteered to be the rabbi. This, mind you, is a child who spent the entire year of nursery glued to his red chair, with his coat, backpack and watch on, always ready to go home, never quite knowing what time it was. He did not speak to anyone in his class the entire year and once in a while would utter a word to the teacher if he absolutely had to. Otherwise, as he learned very quickly, pantomiming the need to go to the bathroom got his message across just fine.
When I questioned him, he confirmed my suspicions.
Me: "Did you really say you wanted to be the rabbi?"
Me: "Home come?"
Him: "There's grape juice."
So today was the day - he went to school looking fantastic in his fancy clothes that he wore to his cousin's bar mitzvah, all ready to be the rabbi. And apparently, he actually was fantastic. He marched down the aisle with the rest of the kids, made his bracha and proceeded to drink the entire cup of grape juice instead of sharing it with the bride and groom like he was supposed to. Well, you know what, good for him! He must have been thirsty, all that pressure. After all, he was the only one with a speaking part.
Later, while we were having dinner, his teacher called to tell me how proud she was of him, and what a good job he did.
And then it all went to pot.
My love, my son, had left the room for a few minutes during dinner and came back with marker on his face.
Me: "What'd you do with the marker?"
Me: "What did you do with the marker?"
Him: "I wrote on the curtains."
Me: "You what?! Show me."
A little while later I came into the kitchen to get a bottle for the baby and there he is, up to his eyeballs in the garbage can, looking for nothing, "just looking, mommy." Uh-huh. Strike two.
And then, right before we were going upstairs to read stories, he asked if he could have a piece of challah. We had made challah this afternoon and they were sitting on the counter. I explained that the challahs were for shabbos, we already had dinner and we were done eating for the day, so no. And not two seconds later, as I am changing someone's diaper, he saunters (not walked, the boy actually sauntered) out of the kitchen with a piece of challah in his mouth, looking like he not only swallowed a canary but was still chewing it. Strike three.
All the praise, all the hoorays, must have been too much for him. It was almost like he needed to create mayhem to deflect from what he accomplished today. Is that a boy thing? A four-year-old thing? A second child thing? Not being any of those things, I have no idea. But I do know that being four is not easy. And being a second kid is not easy. And being a boy is probably not easy either.
I can just hope he understands that I am so proud of him everyday, not just on days when he performs for a free cup of grape juice.