Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Labour Day

Five years ago on this day, October 1, I went into labour in the evening, after being told that I was not open AT ALL (true), and that I was two weeks over due (which I was not); the doctor threatened that I would have to be induced if he didn't see some action by the end of the weekend.

Twelve hours later, and after a completely natural (painful) birth, my darling amazing light-filled daughter came into the world, and quite literally, my life has never been the same.  All that happened before, all I learned and experienced BR ("Before Raphaela") started me on the journey of motherhood. AR ("After Raphaela") I cannot imagine who I would be and where I would find such joy and frustration and wonderment on a daily basis, if not for Raphaela.

My sweetest dearest girl, may you continue to be blessed with health and happiness, growth and wisdom, and may I continue to be able to help you along the path of becoming a fulfilled and completely realized human being.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pre-Birthday I

(In anticipation of planning a small fifth birthday celebration for Raphaela at her English class on Thursday)

Mommy:  Raphaela, what is your favorite color?
Raphaela:  White, because it contains all the colors inside it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rosh HaShanah 2014

(First picture:  Raphaela, standing on the original stones in the "new" Old City of Jerusalem, street that dates back to the Second Temple)

Raphaela:  (while standing at the Wailing Wall to "talk to God" before Rosh Hashanah)  Mommy, does God speak Hebrew or English?
Mommy:  God speaks all languages, even silly ones, and even when you are not speaking out loud.
Raphaela:  Even Spanish and Chinese?

Every time an Israeli soldier walked by:
Raphaela:  Shanah tovah [Happy New Yearl] soldier!  Thank you for keeping us safe!
I think Raphaela would have rushed over and hugged them if I had let her.

Raphaela:  Mommy, why don't fish heads wear hats?

(In preparing the traditional Rosh Hashanah fish head, I stood at the counter in my kitchen.  About half way through, I realized that our gold fish tank had a front row view of the proceedings, and must be screaming in little gold fish voices at the anguish of their brother, or at least his head.  I quickly apologized and moved my cooking station elsewhere.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This morning, on the way to Gan:  "Mommy, when can I get a real tattoo?"

Delicacies and Danger

This morning's random topic on the way to school was:  Puffer fish.  After explaining to Raphaela that this fish has a special gift to keep it safe under the sea, I mentioned that it was basically poisonous to human beings, and therefore we would not ever eat the puffer fish.  I added that the Japanese make this meal as a luxurious  version of "truth or dare," that some people trust that the chef has removed all the bits that could kill you.

Raphaela (contemplative): Why would a person purposely choose to eat a food that is dangerous and poisonous, that could kill them if it is not prepared properly?
Mom:  Good question. Some people take risks where others don't. And maybe it even tastes yummy...
Raphaela:  Snow White ate a bite of the poisonous apple and died, and then the Prince kissed her and saved her.
Mom:  Also true, but fortunately only a very small group of random magical apples are poisonous.  Most fruits will most definitely not kill us.
Raphaela:  That's good, because I like apples.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Running with Scissors

On Friday, Raphaela asked for the child-safe scissors, so she could cut up some paper project in the living room.  She came back to me about a half hour later and said, "Mommy, I decided that my hair needed a trim, so I gave myself a haircut."

In a panic, I checked her long beautiful hair for signs of random destruction, and other than looking "floofy," it seemed undamaged.  I stared at Raphaela, straight in the eyes, and said, "Honey, I need you to know that I am not going to be angry at you, and I need for you to tell me the truth. How much hair did you cut off?  Can you go to the living room and bring me those pieces of hair so I can see?"

Indeed she did return with the smallest clump of hair, and I told Raphaela how proud I was, that she had told me the truth and showed me the damage even though she thought I might be angry.  I also explained that if she really wants a different hair style, we need to go to a professional hair stylist, we cannot take care of this at home.

On Saturday night, after Shabbat, I tried to use my iPad, and it had quite simply died some time over the weekend.  Fearing that Raphaela had done something, I again called her over and reassured her that I would not be angry, and that I needed to hear the truth; had she played with and/or dropped the machine when I was not in the room with her?

Raphaela swore up and down that she had not touched it, and then conjured up a potential explanation, a la classic Greek mythology:  "Maybe the iPad thought it had wings and tried to fly, and then failed and fell on the floor."  (Very Icarus of her...)

I wanted to believe Raphaela, and since she has in the past been unafraid to admit to the truth I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Raphaela then added, "Mommy, why is it that we need all these machines around us anyway?"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's the Little Things

This morning I went to take a shower and left Raphaela to her own devices.  As long as she doesn't burn the house down I am good to go.  When I came out of the shower, I heard her "reading" from memory the entire text of Dr. Seuss's  classic The Cat in the Hat.  When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "I am reading my favorite book to my friends."

You've never heard a great rendition of this book until you've heard it in the cutest Israeli accent.


After dropping Raphaela off at Gan, I happened to pass by her most excellent nursery teacher (H) from last year, she works in the same building as Raphaela's classroom this year.  H casually mentioned to me, "I heard that Raphaela is adapting really beautifully to her Kindergarten this year."

That's enough to keep me smiling all day.