Sunday, September 16, 2007

What I Learned on Rosh Hashanah

1. There is almost nothing as important to me as feeling accepted and included. It's sort of pathetic, really. And I'm not sure where it comes from, since it's not like I was an outcast in junior high or can sobsobsobpoorme for days on end retelling tales of how the girls in high school did me wrong. But something in me just plain THIRSTS to be part of things.

Which means that I was like a (not killed and eaten since that wouldn't be kosher) pig in mud this week when Baroy, the kids, and I were invited to a luncheon after services at the home of a couple who could arguably be called the synagogue's biggest machers. It was the luncheon to which the rabbi, the cantor, and the president of the temple were going. More importantly, it was the luncheon to which several of my friends (some of whom are actually in the positions named above, but most of whom are just People Whom Everyone Likes) were invited, and it was the luncheon to which I had not been invited the year before. Not that that had bothered me...at the time. But in the past year, I've really gotten to know the hosts, and the people that attend these gatherings, and...I'll admit it. I got a huge rush when I was asked to attend.

And then, on the second day, I was asked by another friend from the temple if I would like to attend her women's study group after the second day of services. This is a very small, handpicked group of people, most of whom are women I know very well. It is also a group to which I had not received an invitation the year before. So, when I was asked this year...well, I was like the cat who ate the canary. (I don't think that analogy breaks any of the laws of kashrut, does it?)

Lesson summed up in a different way: I am shallower than the LA River.

2. My daughter can blow the shofar like nobody's business. After the family services broke up the first day and most of the folks had left, Em was talking to the cantor (who runs those services for us) while I cleaned up the snack tables with a couple of my Religious School PTA cohorts. When we heard the shofar blowing again, we looked at each other and said, "Now, see, THAT's what it should have sounded like during the service! Bet he's pissed that he's only NOW finding his groove."

Except, of course, it wasn't Cantor. It was Em. Cantor was truly impressed with her, and she was beaming away. Of course, then he mentioned it to Rabbi, who suggested that Em might want to give it a go at the second-day services, at which point I had to admit that I was sending her back to school for the second day. "Well, that's OK," he said to Em. "You can try it at the tashlich service [where we meet in a park and symbolically cast our sins upon the waters by scattering bread crumbs in a running stream] on Sunday." At which point I had to admit that she wasn't coming to do tashlich, either, because she had soccer photos at the same time. And then became immediately and completely tongue-tied and guilt-ridden and walked quickly away, even though the man didn't even flinch, and I'm one of the last people he's going to give a hard time about not showing up places, since I'm there all the time these days. Still, I could just hear a voice telling me that I was wrong for putting soccer before services. Sure, it was MY voice, but still...

Lesson summed up in a different way: No matter what we do, we parents can't win. But also, my kid rocks.

3. N needs to stop paying so much attention at services. Cantor's sermon at the family service on the first day was about the sorts of 'new year's resolutions' the kids could make that would be in keeping with the spirit of the holiday. He was using examples of things like chores, and how the children should make an effort in the coming year to do the things their parents ask them to do, so that the parents don't have to ask them over and over again. "And for your part, parents," he said, "you need to make an effort to stay calm and patient with your children, instead of jumping on them the minute they make a mistake."

And so it was that, tonight, after I'd told Em, N and Em's friend J--who was sleeping over--to get ready for bed and to get their stuff set up in the family room, and after N had dawdled and dawdled and dawdled some more and then thrown a mini-tantrum about how I had spread out his blanket on the floor (there were WRINKLES! and even though they were only at the bottom, it STILL BOTHERED HIM!), I yelled at him to get into bed or suffer vague but dire consequences. To which he responded, "I thought you promised not to be mean any more in the future." To which Em almost literally yowled with laughter.

Lesson summed up in a different way: Busted. And by a 6-year-old. Damn. I mean: Darn.

1 comment:

sassy said...

Shofar blowing can be exasperating. You've got quite a talented kidlet on your hands.