Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Friday Report

As Israel's Independence Day approaches, the nursery school has started teaching the topic, including the story of the daring raid and rescue at Entebbe (Uganda), led by Yoni Netanyahu, the brother of the current Prime Minister.  Raphaela came home very excited, because just like that adventure, "we are going to go on a plane to America for the family wedding in July!"

I laughed and explained to Raphaela, "Different kind of plane, another type of  mission."


This morning I was preparing the food that Raphaela and I give to the street cats in our area, and it spilled, creating a carpet of cat food on the floor.  "OMG!" I shouted out, and Raphaela came into the room and surveyed the damage.

Then she took a step back and said, "Oh dear Mommy, you made this mess, you need to clean it up." (My words coming back to haunt me...)

I replied, "That's true, it's my mess, but I certainly would appreciate your help in picking it up. It would go a lot faster if we worked together."

Raphaela stepped up immediately and helped.


Our cat Harry comes into the house at night and plays outside all day.  I normally breathe a sigh of relief when Pessach ends, and not just because of the end of matza:  for the past several years, Harry has had some life-threatening medical crisis on this particular holiday.

I did notice over the vacation that one of Harry's front "vampire" teeth had broken off, though he doesn't seem to be in any pain or reduced eating capacity.  It is not unusual for a 12 year old cat to start showing signs of aging, but this makes it more real.  Thus I have become more aware of his age and his sensitivity to his surroundings.

While attempting to let Harry out of the house this morning, one of our neighbors, a family with four children whose constant setting for communication is a terrifying "Shout Loudly," saw Harry and started hissing at him and yelling at him.  Raphaela and I were trapped in the longest-elevator-ride-ever so I could not come to his rescue as I heard Harry crying in fear.

Once we got out of the elevator, I shooed away these children and their mother and said, "Shame on you!  He is an old cat who does not want to harm anyone, all he wants is to go outside.  You are not to behave like that toward him ever again!"

The mother mumbled a sort-of apology and quickly took her children away, and Raphaela leaned over to Harry and said, "There there, Harry. I will pet you and protect you and you will feel all better."

(I have always maintained that the way a human being treats those lesser than themselves is a good indication of how they would treat each other.)


Under the category of kids say the darndest things:

While getting dressed this morning I put on a new bra, not exciting news on its own.  One of the tags was a small green heart, which Raphaela insisted on keeping, explaining that she could use it to give love to all the animals we passed on the way to school.

When we arrived at her classroom, she showed the tag to her teacher (the very religious one) and said, "I took this from my mother's breasts this morning, do you want to see?"  And then Raphaela offered to pull up my shirt so everyone could see my new bra.  I declined firmly and politely.


Every Friday when I was growing up, right before candle lighting for Shabbat, my mother would take out her loose change and put it in the tzedakah (charity) box.  I have slightly amended that tradition, and every Friday I give Raphaela coins to place in the tzedakah box in her classroom, next to the Shabbat paraphernalia.

This morning as Raphaela did her job with pride, her teacher exclaimed, "Raphaela, you have inspired me, you have taught me something today!"  And her teacher took out some coins from her own wallet and joined my daughter in the task, hugging Raphaela when they finished.

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