Finding myself in the Middle East

Sunday, November 27, 2011

With the Moon on their Wing

"Ima, sing a new song that we never ever never heard before," said Princess.

"Ever never," added Coco-pop.

I scoured my mind. My head is full of countless musicals, and my kids have never seen a movie or show. They think that I make them up. Ima is Magic.I don't discourage this.

"Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens," I started."Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things."

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad!

They loved it. They made me sing it over and over with all the stanzas until they knew all the words, too. I thought it was time for A Lesson For Life.

"You can sing this song when you're feeling sad! Or you can just close your eyes and think of all the things that you love, all the things that make you feel happy and safe. All the things that you are grateful for."

Princess had a dentist appointment the next day. I thought it was hashgacha pratis.

The next day in the dentist chair, her eyes were bugging out of her head and full of unshed tears. I held her hand gently and started singing, "Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudles, doorbells--"

She shot up, pushed the dentist's hands out of her mouth. The tears spilled down her cheeks. "Don't sing that!" she yelled. "Don't sing that song!"

Every friday night when I light the candles I thank Hashem for my family and children and husband and friends, and then I think of something new to be thankful for. I think of something every week, but in order to be sincere I need to be calm and comfortable. When it was a hard week, a hard day, or even, honesty forces me to admit, a hard last five minutes (think: the baby pulled the tablecloth off and he hasn't quite mastered the technique of leaving the dishes on when he does that) that put me into a bad mood, it's hard to find something new to feel grateful for.

We made a thanksgiving dinner on friday night and invited a bunch of friends. Jut for fun, really; we are stricter about Thanksgiving in Israel that we ever were in America. I looked around the table and thought about what a hard year it's been so far. And also what a wonderful year, and when things were hard, how my friends pitched in and helped. I felt an unexpected wave of happiness right there over my turkey and green beans. This is It. Knowing that there is bad and there is good and usually both at the same time. And knowing that there are people who love you who will help you through the bad and eat turkey with you through the good.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized I'd forgotten to serve the cranberry sauce.

"The cranberry sauce!" I wailed to Outdoorsman. "How could I have forgotten to serve that?! It's one of my favorite things with turkey!"

Coco-pop's ears perked up at the phrase My Favorite Things. "You love it like you love girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes?"

Princess said, "And snowflakes that stay on my nose and eylashes?"

"Hey," I said, because I am petty, "when you were at the dentist--"

But they were already twirling around the living room. "silver-white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things!"

So much just in this room. And it's not old, to thank Hashem every week--every day, every moment--for my tempestuous dancing butterflies--because every second, they are renewed. Every second, they are made over fresh again for me.

I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad.


Mystery Woman said...

I read this post Sunday morning, and I haven't been able to get that song out of my head since then. Now...can you please write a post about another song?

JerusalemStoned said...

"Oh, it's the song that doesn't end.." :) Better?

chanalesings said...

Lovely! Very sweet way to incorporate a childhood classic into motherhood and blogging,

Grace said...

I think this may be my favorite post of yours yet! I could actually "see" your little butterflies flitting around the room, twirling their skirts. <3


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