Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fly like an Eagle

When he was younger, and he wanted to go really fast, Asher would lean forward, extend his arms directly behind him, hands up, and dash forward, as if he were flying.

When you have children, you become accustomed to loss. Loss of those funny words they once said. Loss at the ways they used to walk or smile. Loss at giving them baths.

But sometimes, things have a funny way of coming back.

Once again, when he wants to go really fast, a just-two-year-old Asher leans forward, arms extended, hands towards the sky, and he dashes forward. So fast, his eagle wings almost make him fly. He is, for a moment, a jet plane. An airplane. He soars.

For a moment, we hold onto the now and store it forever.

Christmas or Chanukah of something else altogether

Mommy and Tahlia were getting ready for bedtime.

There is a much reduced ritual around this time, but currently the ritual is two books, two stories, and one time back.

Instead of picking two different books tonight, Tahlia had picked a book that was made of three different stories. One of the stories being The Night Before Christmas, another was about the Baby Jesus being born, but it is from the animals in the mangers point of view. The third story, The Christmas Story is a Golden Book about Mary and Baby Jesus -- there are angels and everything.

The first story that Tahlia wanted read was the one about the Baby Jesus being born. This book mentions The Son of God a lot. Towards the end of this book, Mommy told Tahlia, "See Tahlia, some people believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And some people believe that Jesus was a very wise man who did a lot of wonderful things and was very kind and knew a lot about kindness and God." Because Tahlia goes to a preschool that teaches about the customs of Judaism, we felt it was important for her to know that the information that she is learning there isn't the only information about religion.

Without any prompting, and without any solicitation - almost before Mommy could finish, Tahlia stated, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God." And that was that.

Well, until the next story was read.

The next story was The Night Before Christmas, which Tahlia loves to hear even as daffodils are popping out of the ground.

In the middle of it, right around "Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer! and Vixen", Tahlia interrupted and stated, "Mommy, I don't want to believe in Christmas, and I don't want to believe in Santa and I don't want you to believe in it too."

Mommy said, "Ok, that's fine." and kept reading a little bit. Who can really fault a small child for not wanting to indulge in a mostly commercialized holiday that has lost much of its true meaning when not done correctly. And Tahlia, being at the age she is, was more about the gifts and Santa then the Christian aspects of the holiday. She truly is all about the giving, which we encourage, but she is also, definitely, about the receiving.

Suddenly, Tahlia asked, "Mommy how many days?"

"How many days?" Mommy inquired


"Do you mean how many days do you get presents?"


"Well," said Mommy, "For Christmas, one; for Chanukah, seven."

Again, without any prompting, without any solicitation, and almost before Mommy could finish, Tahlia stated matter-of-factly, "I want to believe in Chanukah; I want to be Jewish."

And, even though we just read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas last night, and Tahlia heard as the Grinch ponders "how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags", and then concludes his pondering to wonder "what if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?" Maybe she really isn't forgoing Santa to boycott capitalism. Maybe seven days of presents means a little bit more.

Monday, March 29, 2010

TollHouse Cookies

You might wonder what the correct response to the question of "Do you want chocolaty-things for dessert, or a cookie?" is.

It is really obvious, if you ask Tahlia, "Oh yeahhhh. That would be great!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

As you leave her room

If, after you have said good night to her through the crack in the door, move away a little so she can't see you anymore, then listen, you will hear one of the sweetest prayers you have ever heard.

"I love my Mommy and my Daddy and my myself AND my baby brother Asher."