Monday, April 6, 2009

My Little Literalist

At Religious School on Sunday, the kids did an art project, each making a pair of painted, stained-glass-looking glasses--one each for Elijah and Miriam--for the upcoming seders. The kids who can write in Hebrew wrote those names on the glasses; the rest simply drew flowers and other decorations.

Because it's such a small school, the children all sit around a couple of tables when they do their projects. Apparently S, one of the girls in Em's class--who, it's important to note, has a younger sister named Miriam in N's class--jokingly announced, "I'm writing my sister's name on one of these glasses! That way she'll know it's for her!"

N then chimed in. "I'm gonna do the same thing." It wasn't until he'd completed his masterpiece and proudly presented it to Em that anyone realized "the same thing" wasn't writing Miriam's name on the glass...It was writing his sister's name on the glass.

When his mistake was pointed out to him, he became embarrassed; just because he doesn't always understand word-play jokes, he definitely knows when the joke is on him. When I arrived to pick them up at the end of the day and heard the story, it once again broke my more-or-less-perpetually-shattered heart. I told him to pay no attention; I told him that *I* thought it was a lovely thought, and a beautiful glass, and it would have a prominent place on our table during Passover dinner.

And thus it came to pass that Em officially joined the pantheon of prophets and matriarchs whom we will honor with a ceremonial glass of wine at our seder.

Dayenu.

1 comment:

nwhiker said...

What a sweet little boy, who loves his sister and thinks enough of her to want to make something beautiful for her.

I see your point, you know, I really do, how this wasn't the "right" thing to do, that he "didn't get it"... but maybe he did.

I'm not into religion, and I know I'm missing part of the point, but from my perspective... He's making something beautiful and wanting to present it to someone he loves, someone concrete who does nice things for him, who cares about him, who is part of his day to day life, not some... umm... (well, for me) mythical Miriam who means nothing to him beyond a name.

A "cup for Miriam" craft turned, perhaps, maybe in a split second, into a project that has so much more significance for his sweet little boy heart.

Leila, still boycotting google...