Monday, July 17, 2006

The Missing Wallet

My little sister called me this morning. The first words I heard after I said hello were, "I am FREAKING OUT!" She went on to explain that she couldn't find her wallet and that there was several hundred dollars in cash in it.

I wanted to say, "Hey - don't you know where the bank is?" But instead I tried to be the supportive sister and help her figure out where it might be. I asked her where she remembered using it last. She said it was yesterday when she brought my niece to the park for a pony ride. After the pony ride they went to our mom's house and then they went home. She had searched her home, her car, and our mother's house. No sign of it. She had even called the park to see if someone had turned it in. (With all that money in it, I was skeptical that anyone would be honest enough to turn it in. ) But no one had turned it in.

Frantic with her mind filled with thoughts of all the delightful things her credit cards must be buying for someone at the moment, she headed off to work.

I just got another phone call from her. She has her wallet back. When I asked where she found it, she explained that it was at the park and someone had turned it in. I figured ths meant, the money was gone. She went on to say,"I really think your people found it and turned it in." A little confused by this comment, I said "What?" She said, "Remember how I told you that when we go to the park there are all these families there with the long skirts and yarmulkes? They must have found it and turned it in." Oh that must be it...the honest "frummies". I guess that's a stereotype we can all live with for once.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Collateral Damage

As I am sure many (if not all) Rabbis did this Shabbat, ours spoke of what is happening in our beloved Israel. I have not really spoken with LO about this because I have not really been sure how to explain the notion of war to her. Our Rabbi spoke of the "collateral damage" caused by war. He spoke particularly about the children in the Middle East. This certainly struck a chord with LO. After services, I realized that I would have to find some way to explain what is happening to her.

Tears welled up in her eyes as I told her. She asked why we couldn't just tell the "bad guys" to give our soldiers back. In her mind it must be much like child's play...a child takes someone else's toy, a parent makes him/her return the toy, and all is well. If only it were that simple. In her mind, the "bad guys" should just be punished for not listening. In a way that is exactly what is happening...but how do you explain "collateral damage" to a child?

LO spent some time at my ex's house yesterday...apparently she watched the news while she was there. When she got home last night, she told me that she saw Israel on TV and that it was very bad over there. In her eyes I could see her compassionate neshama searching for something, anything, she could do or say...

All I could do was to tell her that the best thing we can do for our soldiers and our beloved Israel at this time is to pray.

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our G-d, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under our soldiers' sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your G-d, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.


Monday, July 10, 2006

I knew it was only time

Other than the words happy and talkative, one of the other most often heard adjectives used to describe LO is LOUD.

There are plenty of times in which I find that although she and I are in the same room, based on her volume she might be thinking I am a few blocks away. Sometimes I will jokingly shout back to her, "WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING AT ME? I'M IN THE SAME ROOM AS YOU!" And then we both burst into laughter.

No place is immune from her lack of volume control and certainly not our shul. I usually try to sit towards the back since LO sometimes gets a little fidgety and I don’t like to disturb everyone else. This has worked well for us except for the fact that some poor unsuspecting person somehow manages to sit in front of us every time. And let’s just say…they never sit in front of us again. You see, LO simply LOVES to sing at shul – and it doesn’t matter if she knows the words (because her new thing is singing without even glancing at the siddur!) And geez can this kid sing LOUD! Yes – I am filled with joy that my daughter loves our traditions and is so proud of her Judaism. But I also fear that it is only time until someone says something like, “Do you think you could ask your daughter to sing a little quieter?”

Well much to my surprise, I have gotten a request regarding her singing – it just wasn’t the request that I expected. Our shul is having a multi-cultural service and LO has been asked to sing Hinay Ma Tov. Whenever she is around people she knows, she is “Personality Plus” – but in the past whenever she had to get up in front of strangers, she has been terrified. Because of this, I knew I should ask her before committing. I picked her up at camp yesterday and asked her. She said, “Sure! I’ll do it. Wait? In front of people?” I was sure the “No way!” was coming next. But then she said, “Yeah – ok – I’ll sing it for everyone.” Later on I heard singing coming from the bathroom – she had just taken a shower and she was brushing her hair and singing LOUDLY (obviously practicing for her big night at shul) while watching herself in the mirror.

Uh oh…what have I gotten myself into?