Sunday, June 12, 2016

Post Shavuot Report

(Random musings after a long holiday weekend.)

I believe in reincarnation, though I have not put too much thought into who Raphaela might have been in a previous life.  This weekend she was playing with some Playmobil figures, and said, "This family is very poor, because they used up all their life savings to buy their house, and now they don't have a financial safety net."

Seriously.  I am not making this up.  Apparently in her previous life she was very fiscally savvy.


Among the various Torah topics that came up during Shavuot were the Ten Commandments, and why some of them make sense intrinsically for society - "Don't Kill" "Don't Steal" - and why some are more difficult, like "Honor your father and your mother."  I explained that the Torah does not actually talk about love in this commandment, it is about respect for the person who brought you into the world.  It is about (in all practical terms) "listening to your Mommy."

Then I looked at Raphaela, straight in the eyes, and said, "The Torah talks about a child honoring and respecting her parents.  I will make you a deal:  if you listen to me and treat me with kindness, I will do the same for you.  Because you are my girl.  I will do the commandment of honoring you, your feelings and your needs."

Raphaela was most pleased.


She has become a shrewd negotiator, this girl.  I wanted to take a nap on Sunday of Shavuot, because I so rarely get that gift during my work week, in fact, never.  Raphaela wanted me to play with her, all day, and resented my taking two hours out of that schedule to sleep.

Then she suggested to me, "Mommy, we always take a nap on Shabbat, and when we wake up, you give me a special Shabbat snack.  If I let you nap on a Sunday, on Shavuot, will you give me a special Shavuot snack when you wake up?"

Deal!  Done and done.


Yesterday we spent some time at the Gazelle Valley near our house, and had a brunch picnic in the grass.  Remarkably, there was a group of three deer that had left the gated off sanctuary and were wandering around the park; they came within three feet of myself and Raphaela, we could almost pet them.  We were so excited and spend a good hour following this intrepid group around the grass and up the pathways, that I didn't notice that I had dropped my small bag.

When we sat down to eat, I realized that it was missing, and told Raphaela that if we didn't find it, so be it. It was not the worst tragedy in the world.

Then a little French boy walked by, and I noticed that he had my little pouch on his arm.  Raphaela jumped up and caught up to him, and said, "That is my Mommy's bag, can we have it back please?"  The boy agreed immediately and came over, telling us his and his whole family's life story;  they are moving to a bigger apartment, they are getting a dog, their exact address, his feelings on women who wear short-shorts...

I took him back to his parents and told them that he had done me a great kindness by finding my bag in the bushes and returning it to me without hesitation.  Parents should hear that they have done a good job, because we so often do not receive any external validation.

On Pessach, the first day of school vacation, Raphaela lost her first tooth.  On Shabbat, Raphaela lost her second tooth.

I explained that the Tooth Fairy does not work on Shabbat or Jewish holidays, and that she would have to wait until Monday night to place her Precious under the pillow.  Raphaela carried around that tooth for two days straight, to be sure that it would ready and able the minute the holiday ended.

She also wrote this letter, and folded it next to her tooth:

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