Tsofia’s 1st Grade Interview
This morning I took my youngest daughter, 5-year-old Tsofia Bat-Tsion (AKA Tsoofy), to her interview for 1st grade.
This is the 5th time I’ve sat with a daughter in that same principal’s office, in her nicest outfit with her ponytail high and pulled back tightly just so.
Then it was on to the guidance counselor’s office to answer the same questions she’s been asking for at least the past 13 years.
“What’s the opposite of heavy? Of long? Of tall? Of hot? Good, good, good, good.”
“Can you name these shapes? Good, good, good good.”
“Please draw a picture of a house and a child. Good job!”
And then there were the questions that every Weisberg girl over the last 13 years has gotten wrong.
“What departs?” Blank look.
“A plane,” the guidance counselor prompted gently.
“What withers?” Blank look.
“What do you call a car, a tractor, a truck.” Blank look.
And then, for the 5th time, she turned to me and asked, “You speak English at home, right?”
“Yes” I said, with just a bit too much enthusiasm, relieved that, once again, I have an excuse for why my 5 years old doesn’t know the word “motor vehicle.”
And then we left, and it sank in. Tsofia has two younger brothers. I am turning 44 next month. I am pretty certain this is the last time I will ever sit with a 5-year-old daughter in that office answering all those questions I know by heart.
And I felt a need to savor the sweetness of that moment. Not routine or humdrum or the millionth time.
A magical moment which will probably never come again.
This past Shabbat lunch was regular. The same skirmish over who would sit where. The same bread, yummy salads, salmon. A song or two. 8-year-old Yoel’s weekly parsha quiz. The usual ice cream for dessert.
I took a nap and then read a magazine. And then I saw the following ad from Kupat Hair:
“Shabbos, the 9th of Kislev, 6:42-6:51 AM EST. Don’t miss this opportunity! At precisely this time 30 Gedolei Hador, Shlit”a will daven, 30 holy places in countries across the world will be visited on behalf of contributors to Kupat Ha’Ir.”
What? I had no idea that anything special was happening this Shabbos! A great et ratson, an auspicious time for prayer and requests.
And then I did the math and realized 6:42 EST, this annual et ratson, had taken place exactly when we in Jerusalem were sitting down and eating our routine, humdrum, millionth-time Shabbat lunch.
Yesterday my husband was on his way home from work. Routine, humdrum, millionth-time kind of day.
And then he looked up and saw this wonder, the moon rising over the Mount of Olives….
And isn’t that how it always is?
We are twiddling our thumbs through our routine, humdrum, millionth-time…
And then we look up and realize, it is anything but.