*Thanks to Ms. MMK for this guest post
Complete and utter joy.
In case you are not familiar with how joy is expressed by seven- and eight-year-old boys, I will inform you.
Noise. Complete and penetrating noise.
That’s how I know that SJ’s Angry Birds’ birthday party was an absolute success. After the party was over, my ears were ringing as if a plane was directly overhead.
Worth it? You would know the answer if you had ever experienced the “SJ Thank You Hug.” Picture a young boy of significant size barreling at you until his head hits your chest. All the while, he’s smiling like he just shot the Darth Maul pig out of the air. Yeah, it was worth it.
But you probably want to hear the details.
Embarrassing? No, Batman is always cool!
“Don’t embarrass us!’
These were the instructions my children gave me on Sunday night and again on Monday morning. My children’s school had an event going on later that Monday. Parents were invited to come in to their children’s classroom and stay for up to thirty minutes and observe what the children were learning. Since, I’m working from home these days, I was the parent who would go visit.
The children and I discussed the visit before-hand. We went over the parameters.
“So, can I call out your name?”
“Can I say I love you?”
“Can I say I remember when you were a baby?”
This went on for a little while longer with me saying things which I knew would horrify them. Horrifying can be fun, and I’m really good at it. They even laugh sometimes. However, their final instruction to me was repeated multiple times. And they – the boys and the instructions – were clear and serious.
The world keeps moving. Slow down at the risk of falling behind. It’s 24/7. Now, now, now. No one waits for anything. Must, must, must.
But I need to escape. I need to clear the clutter from my brain. I can’t keep swimming.
It’s Friday evening and the Sabbath has begun. I’m in the synagogue and nearly done the evening prayers.
In fact, I’ve just completed the silent Shmoneh Esrei prayer which is said to ones’ self while standing and still. It is the centerpiece of the evening service. I’ve taken three steps backward to symbolize my taking leave from God and the last of the words have been silently said. They prayer is done. But before I take a step forward and return to the world, I pause. I have something to add.
Remember when your birthday was your favorite day of the year? You looked forward to it all year around. You wanted to be older. You wanted to be bigger. You just wanted.
Today is SJ’s birthday. My youngest son is now 8-years old. He’s thrilled.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently. He and his wife have triplets. Their children are in 11th grade. Anyway, we were walking along, and I didn’t notice his children. Part of his response was, “Don’t worry. Some day you’ll be able to walk away or go out and not have to worry about your children.”
“I’m not in a rush,” I said.
In fact, I’m going to miss seven.