Posts Tagged 'Parenting'



One Leg at a Time

Our five-year-old Yishama started Kindergarten this week. We were very excited for him to go to the Carmel Academy. His brother Yadid loves the school. While Yishama’s experience has been amazing so far, I did not prepare myself for Yishama’s issues around this transition. Yesterday Yishama got into a bit of fight on the bus.

At the end of Ki Tetzei, this week’s Torah portion, we read:

Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way when you were leaving Egypt, that he happened upon you on the way, and he stuck those of you who were in the rear, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear God. ” ( Deuteronomy 25:17-18).

We are commanded to remember what someone did to us while we were in transition from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the land of Israel. It is obvious that transitions are always hard. It is in this time that we are the most vulnerable, but it also during this period that we can grow the most.

As we are making our way into the next phase of our lives, we should not take these transitions for granted. This is a time to remember. We are all pushed to next stage of our unfolding success. As an adult I pause to realize that I have spent the better part of my life putting my best face forward to succeed. When have I taken the time to deeply explore  my failures?

As a parent I want my children to have success.  I cannot just focus on what drives them forward. I need to also empower myself and my children to connect to the weaker parts, those parts of ourselves that might push to the rear. If we do not deal with them in a time of safety, someone else might exploit them later. As much as Yishama might have been a bully on the bus, it was out of weakness. While we might have punished him for his behavior, he needed to be supported to deal with it. This morning Yishama took responsibility for his actions and  made up with the other child.  And yes they hugged. I am confident that this was a huge growing experience for him. Now we just need to deal with Yishama’s difficulty in getting dressed in the morning. I think Yishama might still turn out alright, I just need to give him more time to pick out his pants. We do not want to get left behind and miss the bus.

 

Phranz Kaphka

I am a  fan of Franz Kafka. For me he optimizes the ideals of what it means to be Jewish beyond the limitations of Halacha. From his writing we see that he was totally in tune with the human condition, extremely alienated from society, and hugely creative. Once asked about his being Jewish Kafka responded, “What have I in common with Jews? I have hardly anything in common with myself”

Avraham declared, “I am a stranger and a dweller with you; give me a burial place with you so I may bury my dead before me” (Genesis 23:4). Rashi explained this verse, “I am a stranger and a dweller with you – a stranger from a different land that has settled with you.” Kafka was a voice for the modern Avraham. It is as if he took the next logical step in intrepting what it meant to be Ger V’Toshav. Pushing us to realized in the modern world we need to deal with the depths of alienation.

Recently my son Yadid used a perminant marker on a piece of furnature. I was upset to see it, but it was hard to punish him when when I saw what he wrote. Who was I going to blame?

I am Not my selph

Preparing for Revelation

It has been too long since I have had a chance to write. It seems that there is no time to get everything done. I especially feel this way today. As I am quickly preparing for Shavuot I am also lamenting that I was not able to be at my son’s Siddur ceremony today at school. I realize that for me this year these two events are connected. My son’s  receiving his first prayer-book is parallel to our collective receiving the Torah.

As we prepare for revelation I look at my children and I look at myself. As a parent, I am often torn between cherishing the few moments with my children at their current stage of life, while simultaneously being consumed by my curiosity to know the people they will become. I see parts of my wife and myself in each of them which teaches me about myself. I also marvel  at the parts that are truly unique to the people they are becoming.

Traditionally we stay up Erev Shavuot for the Tikkun to fix having fallen a sleep at Sinai. For me this year I feel like I need to go to sleep early.  I realize that to be the parent that I aspire to be I need more sleep. I am sure that I will not be present and I will not help reveal the best in my children if I stay up all night. I realize that there is a Torah from Sinai and another Torah that is to be revealed through parenting. I can only hope to  present and not sleep through the revelations manifest in their growing up.

New Vocabulary Word

Our three children sleep in the same room.  Adina and I were putting the kids down a few weeks ago. Emunah was already asleep. Adina was lying with Yishama and I was climbing into bed with Yadid when I stubbed my toe. I wanted to scream in pain, but out of fear of waking Emunah I let out a muffled whimper. Adina laughed. Without missed a beat, Yishama, our 4-year-old, said ,”Mami is Schadenfreuding Abba”. There was no way to respond.

We have used the word Schadenfreude around him, but we surely never as a verb. So much is going on in that little brain of his. Parenting is a gift. We learn new things all the time. Well, in the Orlow- Frydman household we have a new word.


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