Candles play a large part in my children's lives and in Shira's in particular.
They live for lighting Shabbat candles and Chanukkah is a real fire hazard in our house as we don't limit ourselves to one chanukkiah per person.
When it comes to birthdays in the family we have multiple candle lighting ceremonies. On their birthdays, they light candles for a week. Last year I felt like i was baking cupcakes daily during that week. Oh, wait, I was, sometimes I baked them twice daily because we believe in birth weeks, not birth days. We had a week of parties. Their birth week is a month away and they can't wait.
On Marc's or my birthdays they get to have candles on their cupcakes and they like to do at least 2 different candle lightings for us. Last year on Marc's birthday we even had a celebration while he was at work. We turned our breakfast into a birthday party for daddy and didn't think it strange in the least that he wasn't with us.
Shira likes nothing better than to lie in the tub with a candle burning in the background. In fact, whenever she deems herself stressed, she takes herself off to have a long soak in my tub. She runs a deep bath, lights a lavender candle, switches on Lev Tahor and sips concord grape juice from a plastic wine glass. (ooh, I am a bad, bad mom to let her drink the grape juice from a plastic wine glass. LOL. Plastic is so bad for you.)
She's been very worried about me since the surgery and this week she made me a treat. She made a plate of fruit and veg and placed candles in the bananas.
She had a very earnest little conversation with me about how the candles will help make me feel better.
Conversations like these with my children often make me realize why and how the ancients started religions. I can see how candle light and the lighting of candles could easily take on a strange esoteric meaning for my kids. We've been having some great discussions based on Prometheus and how the ancient Greeks attributed the advent to fire to his theft of it from the gods. I thought this was a great way to jump into Jewish mythology. The story of Prometheus was a great lead into the story of Moses and the burning bush. They saw how unlikely it was that this story has its roots in fact. It's a slow process but I truly think the children are starting to understand that the stories of our culture are as based in mythology as the stories of the ancient Greeks were.