My Triple-Scoop Ice Cream Cone
7:45 AM. Breakfast for 5-year-old Tsoofy, 3 year-old Yaakov, and 16-month-old Yonatan.
Tsoofy recites “Shehakol nihyeh bdvaro” over her cornflakes, and midway through the bowl she launches into “Echad Mee Yodea.”
Yaakov tells me that next year, he is going to a gan for BIG boys. In fact, he reminds me for the dozen-th time, “Next year I will be so big I will be an abba!” In fact–this is a new one– “I am the biggest person in this whole family!” and lifts his hands over his head to show me just how BIG he is.
And Yonatan munches on pieces of chicken and then looks over the edge of the high chair and throws them down, like a little Galileo in his own green-plastic leaning Tower of Pisa.
Oh my Gosh. Soooo delicious these kids.
7:45 PM. Yaakov, Tsoofy, Yonatan and all their siblings.
Yaakov: “Eeeemaaa, Tsuffy pinched me!”
Tsoofy: “Eeeeema, Yaakov used my toothbrush! That’s disgusting,” and she pinches him again.
Yaakov: Cheeks turn pink from screaming.
Kids have been talking, fighting, needing, playing, being in my space all afternoon long.
“Do not talk to me. I am way too tired! Just go to sleep NOW!”
When doing a mitzvah is hard, Rabbi Noach Weinberg says, it’s easy to start feeling like “like the ungrateful child who complains that he has to hold the ice cream.”
What does that mean?
Eema bought her little girl a triple-scoop ice cream. Is there anything sweeter than that? Chocolate, green mint, and bubble-gum!
But after a few minutes of licking and enjoying and saying “Thank You, Eema!” with all her heart, the ice cream starts feeling heavy and dripping down her arm.
“Why did Eema make me hold this stupid ice cream?!” she thinks with resentment, forgetting what a huge gift that triple-scoop actually was.
That, for me, is the 7:45 AM/7:45 PM challenge.
From thanking Eema for the ice cream, to feeling like I wish I didn’t have to be holding it.
If only I could bring more 7:45 AM into 7:45 PM. Remembering that these kids aren’t just pinchers and fighters and my-space invader. They are my triple-scoop.