Saturday, May 21, 2016

This past Friday, as I prepared for Shabbat, Raphaela came into the kitchen and said, "Mommy, I can help you today. I do have two free hands."


We have a bird nest on the small shelf outside our bathroom.  The chicks are almost full bird-size at this point, and yet their mother continues to feed them, and they plant themselves firmly in their nest, refusing to even trying to fly into the real world.

Raphaela and I spent the last hour before Shabbat ended (what a long long Shabbat) watching an amusing play between the mother and her babies.  Excuse me if I misinterpret certain bird sounds.

Bird Mom:  What, you are still in the nest? Time for you to learn how to fly! (paces around the shelf near the nest)
Bird Babies:  What do you mean, time to leave?!  We like it here.
Bird Mom:  Well, I am not sticking around when you are perfectly capable of flying like a normal bird.  (Flies away)
Bird Babies:  (Heads bobbing wildly, they both step up to the ledge of the window)  Hey, did she actually leave us here?
Several minutes pass, the mother does not return, and the birds sit down stubbornly in their nest.


This morning, as I was getting Raphaela her breakfast, before I jumped into the shower to start my day, she watched me as I set out her cereal and milk, a glass of juice and a small piece of cheese.  As she took the food to her table, she said, "Mommy, you are like a waitress! How did you learn that?"


As we got ready to go to school, Raphaela admired my pocket book, and asked me what it was made of.  I hesitated for a minute and then said, "Honey, I know that you are a vegetarian and it hurts your feelings when you think about animals being killed and eaten.  So what I am about to tell you might not be nice for you."

She nodded seriously, and I continued, "We get lots of things from cows, food like meat and milk for drinking.  But leather, like my purse or like some kinds of shoes, also comes from a cow, it is their skin."

Surprisingly, she did not flinch, and instead admired how useful a cow could be for humans. Raphaela will not undo her vegetarian choice, but she is quite interested in understanding how milk starts from the cow and ends up in our supermarket.

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