Why Wednesday will be Crazy
August 31st, this Wednesday, will be a crazy day for me.
First of all, I need to join 21-month-old Yonatan at his (thank You, thank You, Thank You, dear L-rd!) first morning of gan.
Then, in the afternoon, I need to take my 6-year-old Tsofia, along with all the other mothers, to spend a few hours meeting her new first-grade teacher and celebrating this major milestone with singing and dancing.
And THEN, I need to spend that afternoon at a special 5-hour program for mothers and 9th graders at Maayan’s new high school about an hour outside of Jerusalem.
Problem is, you might have noticed, that we are talking about two important events on the same afternoon involving one single mother–me.
I thought it over for a while, and discussed the various complicated potential ramifications with my 2 older daughters, and decided that I will accompany Maayan to her high school, and her Abba will walk Tsofia over to meet her teacher and an older sister will sit by her side during the singing and dancing. And I will walk Tsofia over the next morning, on her first day of school, to meet her teacher.
Tsofia seemed OK with the compromise, but it does bother me. To have to make this choice. That Tsofia will be the only girl there without her mother…
How much I yearn to do everything, please everyone, be everything and everywhere at once.
Last night I went out to the bat mitzvah of the daughter of our dear friends. When I got home at about 10:30, I started putting together a triple-batch of spinach casserole for the week. Which meant that when I woke up this morning, I was able to have a piece of spinach casserole for breakfast, but my kitchen was a total mess.
And I HATE that. As a rule, I never go to bed with a messy kitchen. The rest of the house can be upside-down, but the kitchen–if it starts out messy, just imagine what havoc my kids will wreak there over the course of a summer-vacation morning…
So this morning, standing in my messy kitchen, I attempted to review in my mind why I had left it looking like that… Cause I went out to a bat mitzvah of our dear friends. And I cooked food so the family won’t have to eat cornflakes and grilled cheese sandwiches the whole week. And I had to get to bed, so I wouldn’t be a grouch with my kids this morning.
But it did bother me.
Cause, as you already know, I yearn to do everything, please everyone, be everything and everywhere at once.
Editor Bassi Gruen of Family First wrote something a year or even two ago which has stuck in my mind ever since.
She wrote that when she was younger, she thought that navigating life’s dilemmas was about differentiating what is important from what is unimportant. Learning Torah vs. reading a fashion magazine. Doing chesed vs. watching a movie. Or, in my case, taking your first grader to meet her teacher vs. going shopping for another pair of shoes. Cleaning the kitchen vs. checking your emails again.
But adulthood has shown her that life’s dilemmas are different than that…
Real life is about navigating the conflict between priorities vs. priorities. Values vs. values.
And that’s why it’s such an ongoing confusing doozy of a challenge.
It would be easier, though, if we could somehow manage….
A little more acceptance and understanding of our limitations.
And a lot less guilt.