Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cheering up, 6 year old style

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.


Lostcheerio said...

Love the idea of birth weeks. Awesome! Definitely would take all the potential gloom out of sharing a birthday with your sister/brother. :)

Shez said...

Please never mention that particular concept to my two. They are absolutely clueless about the idea that it could be a bad thing to share a birthday. sometimes the fact that they have no other sibs and that they homeschool really works in my favor. They have no idea that siblings tend to dislike sharing birthdays. I always had to share parties with my sister, (3 years younger) and brother (5 years younger). I hated every minute of it.

this year they want to have a party at that gym near the naval base. They went to a party there yesterday and couldn't stop raving about it. I have never been a fan of large parties but I think that this year a party like this might be in order.

They want HO gauge trains for their birthday. We're seriously considering getting them a starter set with a large cork board on trestles. We could keep it in the third floor playroom. Both kids love building things and I can see how a train set where they have to build scenery will be a huge hit.

I really want to get one of those converting air hockey/pool tables for up there but I think the kids will get more out of a train set. I of course want to be able to play air hockey whenever the mood takes me.

I just wonder if they might not be too young for the HO gauge. Perhaps we should get the cork board and trestles and let them build scenery for their wooden track. However, they really want electric trains. Decisions, decisions, decisions.