Sunday, April 14, 2013

Purim Redux

On Purim, because of the weeks of hype from her teachers and the country and her mother, Raphaela spun into a frenzy when she put on her costume for the Gan holiday party, and it resulted in crying and trauma for all involved.

Hoping to learn from experience, for Yom HaZikaron/HaAtzmaut [Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror going into Israeli Independence Day], I did not mention wearing clothing of the blue and white variety.  We did not discuss it other than mentioning that soon it would be Israel's 65th birthday.

This morning, I laid out two separate outfits for her and told her to choose one that would be appropriate for the special day at Gan, both sets of the variation on blue and white.  Raphaela selected one outfit, put it on and then immediately started undressing and saying that she would not wear this just because all the kids would be doing so.

I love that she emulates her mother, that Raphaela seems mostly unaffected by peer pressure and likes to live outside the box, but I had had enough of this particular power struggle. I calmly explained to her that sometimes we do things that initially we might not like, but in the end we find ourselves enjoying the experience.  I also explained to her that today and tomorrow represent the most special days for Israel, the place we live, and that it is fun and respectful to wear blue and white, just like the colors of the Israeli flag. I finished off my stern discussion by saying that if she rejected her clothing, she would stay home, not go to Gan and see her friends, and not participate in Israel's birthday party.

Then I walked out of the room and did a primal scream on the other end of the house.

Within minutes, Raphaela came over to me and agreed to wear the second outfit I had chosen, a pair of white leggings and a blue shirt with a white cat design.  The cat had a cupcake, which Raphaela explained was the cake in honor of Israel's birthday.

Crisis averted, though I feel that I need guidance on how to teach Raphaela to be herself, to love herself and her decision process, and yet understand that society and friendships serve a purpose as well.  While I have taken the less-traveled and more difficult route, I wish an easier journey for my daughter. 

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I stumbled across your blog by chance and love it already! What a beautiful little girl you have. I'm on my path to Judaism (converting this Friday) and on my path to same-sex parenthood, and your blog has elements I can relate to. Glad I'm here! (and I hope in the future to make comments that are actually relevant to your post :) )