Today is thirty days, which is four weeks and two days of the Omer in the year 5780. גבורה שבהוד, Gevurah of Hod, Strength of Splendor.
Having the strength to lead my children
It is strange time to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. To anticipate Mother’s Day while living into the eighth week of never leaving your children for very long. I am so fatigued that I avoid every non-mandatory Zoom gathering.
Thing 1’s first grade class meetings are particularly difficult. My son ran away because he couldn’t handle the pressure of creating comparisons to describe me. Having consumed neither coffee or breakfast, I had no patience for the demands to describe me as pretty and nice. It was a wretched day. Oh wait, that may have just been yesterday.
In any event, today, he wrote those sentences on the book creator app. Blessedly, he found a single image of female rabbis to accompany his final sentence. “But most special of all, my mom is as special as a rabbi.”
He also finished the other Mother’s Day project (that I had to scrounge for blank back-sides of paper to print). 2020 will not include a present from Thing 2 because I refuse to create another piece of ephemera for myself. I remain buttressed by Thing 2’s continuous requests for hugs and tickles.
The splendor of take out food
In this eighth week of isolation, we have caved into our cravings and ordered take-out. Previous weeks, one of us made every. single. meal. For Shabbat, we had the most glorious treat: freshly made spring rolls, fried tofu, tofu pad Thai, and for my husband, Chinese broccoli with tofu. If you are on the Western edge of the San Gabriel Valley, I strongly recommend nine & nine Thai kitchen in Pasadena. You could also order some books from Vroman’s bookstore for curbside pickup and have a perfect Pasadena expedition.
Grace for the lack of discipline
I usually push myself to lean into the discipline aspect of Gevurah and berate myself for not living up to the fantasies in my head. Today, I choose to have grace for myself. Perhaps in the coming weeks I will find the discipline to complete a Jewish prayer service daily. For now, I want to lean into gratitude that I am counting the Omer and chanting the Shema as I tuck my precious babies into bed.
I look at myself in the mirror a lot — strange how every bathroom sink seems to have a mirror overlooking it. I’m watching my white hair grow around my face and reveling at the way my children are growing into themselves. Praying Thing 2 never outgrows his love of tickles and hugs. Hoping Thing 1 learns to use soap in addition to reveling the flow of water when he showers by himself. And I pray we never stop loving one another.
Prayers for the Strength of Splendor
May our Shabbat, our holy day of connection with our souls and the Soul of the Universe, nourish us. I hope we feel the strength of splendor percolating in every moment. God, help us find the way to discipline our speech and remember that those around us are doing the best they can in an unprecedented time.