Saturday, June 18, 2016


This morning in synagogue (the one we like, finally) it was my turn to help with the youth group.  For the most part, it involved gathering about 45 kids into the room, and toward the end, pouring grape juice, and distributing ice pops.

Raphaela and her good friend ("C") sat there, surreptitiously waving at me and mouthing "Great job, Mommy."  She was very proud that her mother had a presence in the room, but played it cool in front of her peers.

A four year old boy sat next to the girls, and he had brought a sharp stick with him from the playground outside.  The kind of stick that you would find as a picture under the dictionary definition of Someone-Could-Lose-An-Eye.  At first he was waving it menacingly toward Raphaela and C, and I watched as my daughter told him to stop and be careful and to put the stick down, away from them and the other children.

As you would expect, he didn't listen much. 

This little play went on for close to ten minutes, and at a certain point, I saw C push her chair back, with a look of fear on her face, and I watched as the sharp end came dangerously close to my own child.

Having determined that this boy's parents were obviously no where near by, and realizing that the girls' non-violent efforts to stop him had failed miserably, I stepped in; I took the stick away, gave the boy a stern look and said, "If you can't be careful with this, you can't have it."

As I walked away, I heard Raphaela and C cheering, and then I heard Raphaela say, "She saved us, hooray!  Isn't a good thing that I have a Mommy like THAT?"

Postscript:  As we walked home from synagogue, Raphaela told and retold the story of their harrowing adventures, the adventure becoming bigger than life with each re-telling.  She said, "You know what I learned today from you?  I learned that you try to resolve a conflict without hitting, and without killing someone."

I think I need to refine the message just a little.

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