Saturday, September 21, 2013

Zumba Anyone?

Yesterday, I experienced one of my all-time favorite parenting moments. We took my in-laws to the old train station which has been totally renovated and revitalized. It is an amazing location to walk around, enjoy a day out and check out the array of free entertainment that they have available at all hours.

There was a series of dance routines happening when we arrived and the kids were enthralled by the activity. The four younger ones plopped down and enjoyed watching the dancing while the older boys and Josh took the in-laws on a tour of the area.
Here was one dance routine everyone enjoyed.

Then, we moved away from the dancing area to enjoy some Re-Bar (a delicious juice bar).

Here's a different son enjoying his Re-Bar.

While we were drinking and waiting for the rest of our order, my 8 year old came rushing over. "Mommy!" he began. "The dancing is over and now they are doing Zumba. Anyone can join! Mommy, will someone come with me?"

Despite my explanations to the contrary, he simply wouldn't accept that no one was planning to join in a very public Zumba routine with him in the middle of the train station.

So, we went back to sipping our Re-Bar. And then, out of nowhere, another of my kids yelled, "Mommy! Come quick! He's dancing."

And there he was, my adorable, generally reserved and self-conscious 8 year old swaying his hips and bopping to the music. He was in the midst of 30-40 women who were all following the routine of the Zumba instructor. And he was dancing and concentrating hard enough that he did NOT look like he was having fun while working incredibly hard to keep up.

It was so out of character and so adorable, we all started cheering and giggling. "Mommy," my oldest declared, "Give me your phone quick. I've got to get this."

And he did get two adorable videos. But we've decided to keep them within the family, and to use them only for higher purposes like making Stella laugh when she saw it on Friday.

I loved the spontaneity of the moment; the complete lack of inhibition that he showed and the desire to do something entirely out of character. Day one of sukkot and my sukkot vacation is complete - that was a moment to savor for the ages.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Remembering Another Yom Kippur

Yesterday was Eliav’s 7th birthday. And Yom Kippur is five days away. And those two things, combined, cause me to be nostalgic every year. And never more so than this year. So here goes.

7 years ago on Yom Kippur, I had a 6 day old baby at home. And anyone who has just given birth knows just how out of sorts they are. They haven’t slept in at least a week, if not weeks, and they’ve just been through the birthing process. The baby wants attention all the time and wants to nurse around the clock. Never mind the fact that our baby was jaundiced, so we had stayed an extra day in the hospital and had returned every day since for a jaundice check, including on erev Yom Kippur. It had been quite a week.

But wait – in addition to the new bundle of joy, there were three other little boys at home, all under the age of six. And they wanted to jump, play, yell and be active. 

Checking out the new brother, Eliav

And it was Yom Kippur. So Josh had gone off to the crazy-early minyan (prayers) at something like 4:30 in the morning, and I knew he would be back sort of soon. But it was 7:30 am, and I had at least a few hours left to be on my own. And I was losing…my….mind.

And as the fear and paralysis of the overwhelmed, exhausted, completely out-of-sorts mother started to bubble to the surface, there was a knock at the door. Who the heck could it be at 7:30 in the morning on Yom Kippur?

But as I formed the question in my mind, I immediately knew the answer. As I put down the screaming baby and got through the maze of rambunctious boys to answer the door, I knew before I opened it that it was Stella.

And there she stood. “Hi. Thought you might need some help this morning,” she said as she brushed right past me and scooped up Eliav.

I turned around in awe. Really? I hadn’t told her that I was worried about Yom Kippur and that I didn’t know how I was going to be by myself for the day. I hadn’t expressed anything. And yet, she skipped shul to come to my house at the crack of dawn to keep me company and to make sure that I held it together on that day.

Yom Kippur 5767. One to remember, always.