This post takes the road less traveled, bringing with it a picnic basket filled with maternal guilt for lunch. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.
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.
So I was astounded, and a little worried, when he came home with an invitation to the mock wedding in his backpack, along with a note saying he was to be the rabbi. The note informed us that he needed to dress up as a rabbi, bring a snack for 16 kids and be prepared to make the bracha on some grape juice. Ahh, so that was it, the grape juice.
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."
If I had to peg my kid as anything at this mock wedding it would have been your standard shmorg-loving guest. Maybe a shmorg-loving guest who hangs out against the wall with his buddies, eating and minding his own business. But nope, he heard the magical words "grape" and "juice" and his hand shot up.
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.
A mother's pride knows no bounds. I am just so freakin proud of him and I told him exactly why at least ten times this afternoon - and he ate it up. He played his part of the rabbi with no crying, no whimpering, no backing out at the last minute, all standard shtick pulled regularly in this family. He did what he had to do and he got some grape juice as a reward.
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."
And he does show me. And there's nothing on the curtains and I'm begining to think maybe he just wrote on his face and made the whole curtain thing up, cause that's what he does. I sat down on the couch for a second, looked to my left for no reason and saw it. He had written all over the wall with the marker. Strike one.
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.
Bedtime is was.
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.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)