Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Your Wish is My Command

Now that the streak of Jewish holidays has ended until the Fall more or less, the teachers at Raphaela's Gan have introduced a unit on expressing feelings.  First they dealt with fear and now have moved onto happiness. According to a TED lecture that I watched recently, our perception of happiness depends upon our memory of an event, rather than the actual experience at the time; and while money cannot buy happiness, lack of funds will most definitely decrease life satisfaction.  The TED lesson concluded that the most important factor determining happiness is social interactions with loving and supportive people.

(I have become a addict, it expands my mind and challenges me intellectually for the first time since I attended Barnard College.)

 They took a Nursery Gallup Poll, asking each of the children what made them happy, and Raphaela answered, "I love when my Mommy takes me to the zoo."

The zoo makes me happy as well!  Inspired, after Gan we spontaneously drove to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, despite the fact that I had not done my usual preparations of snacks and a picnic dinner.  We even got a kick ass parking spot right at the entrance.

When we returned home, a stimulated Raphaela had a hard time falling asleep;  she sat in bed and talked to herself, occasionally shouting to ask if I could come and keep her company. I finally convinced Raphaela to close her eyes, and before I got into bed, crept into her room and kissed her lightly on the cheek.  Practically snoring one minute, my magical kiss woke the princess out of her sleep.  With a huge smile and sparkling eyes, her curls bouncing, she said, "Mommy, you took a long time coming to bed!  I was waiting for you for such a long time so I took a small nap.  But now I am all rested and we can talk and play!" 

Groan...not what I wanted to hear, and yet so hard to resist her joyfulness. It took another hour for Raphaela to settle in for the evening.

As a side note, I was particularly amused by some of the responses of the other children in Raphaela's class, my favorite? The little girl who said it would make her happy if her parents took her to the doctor's office. 

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