Monday, May 28, 2012

Shavuot 2012: the successfully failed nap

Awakened from an afternoon slumber on this holiday afternoon (Shavuot), my immediately-awake mother instinct was alerted. My boys, three different sizes, stood before me. The youngest one with sad, puffy eyes, and tear stains down his beautiful cheeks.

Azriel had gone too far with a very special, very cherished friend. This friend was overtired, having stayed awake much of the night before learning Torah, as is the tradition on Shavuot night. He needed to rest, and Azriel tested his boundaries... and lost. Violence ensued.

That event started off a two hour long "sach-nash" (slang for 'sichat Nefesh', שיחת נפש), translated as a soul-to-soul chat. My oldest, Dov, got to tell Azriel about the times Azriel tests his boundaries the same way, and that Dov doesn't like it either.

All three of my sons joined in this chat, and they all got to get out their problems about each other in a respectful way. I was grateful that they were open to my direction in "dynamics", as an orchestra conductor does when he needs one instrument to play quieter and another to give more sound at any given point in the piece. I was attempting to conduct and direct a small chorus of boys' criticisms and grievances concerning each other. Otherwise known as a "bitch session". Some very important viewpoints were expressed which will change how I appraise situations where I wasn't present to see exactly what happened. When you get to hear different opinions, and another side of the story, it can change the view you have on the situation.

After banging out new rules at what felt like the 5th Geneva Convention, everyone just romped off to play more! It is a victory for me, not only in the obvious "way-to-solve-those-problems-ima!", but also more personally knowing that even if I sleep at times that being awake and with the children would be better, they felt free to come to me and wake me because they knew that this was a situation that warranted that. In the past, these things would escalate to astronomical dimensions that, by the time one of them came to me holding a limb, or broken glasses (which actually did happen this time, unfortunately), or bleeding, the damage was already done, and I was too upset to hear everyone out. I would reiterate time and time again to come to me if anyone feels so angry that they feel violent. To wake me in a dangerous or emergency situation. I think it got through finally... they made a decision to come to me, and when it's right, it's right.

It's so clear to me that when I am active all day, my leg hurts, and when I rest more, it doesn't. Duh.
The problem is that when it doesn't hurt, I want to do lots of stuff. I am getting wiser, though, despite the setbacks and challenges.

OK, little one has had coughing fits in bed now for about 10 minutes; I am going to go to him with the cough medicine. It has been over a week now of nightly coughing bouts, poor guy. I'll get him to the doctor for a culture. Hope it's not strep. I have a few cuts at the moment. Creeps me out.

By the way, I was washing the dishes this evening, and I washed my oldest son's (13 yrs old) cereal bowl. It is the same red plastic straw-bowl that I have been washing for 11 years now.
These kids just need consistency. Even if it means that they can consistently find me resting, I think that is becoming OK. I love that little red plastic cereal bowl with the straw. It represents Dov's inner consistency. I also love that as he grows up, he is keeping the boy alive and well inside him. I think that exact thing was in a blessing I wrote for him once a long time ago when I was about to go into surgery for the PVNS, the first time, when it was canceled. I was so scared to go into surgery again, the first time since the NF, that I gave a bracha to each kid, in a blog entry, just in case I died. In Dov's, I wanted him to keep the boy inside the man. He is doing just that.

We're going to be OK.
We're going to be OK, with the help of God.

I invite you to read my entry this day last year, the day after Shavuot. It is a beautiful entry. The reminder at the top of the entry was on my mind much of this holiday, although I didn't talk about it with anyone.


  1. Glad it worked out well this time.

  2. always good to get a reminder that they love and trust and need us...even if we are not perfect...keep on doing your seems like you have lovely kids!

  3. You're doing good, Sarah, keep it up. Great blog.