Minnesota Mamaleh: Zero, Universe: One

So…how do you feel about me taking the late bus tonight?

My gem of a husband texts me at 4:45 PM. You know, right when the day feels like it’s never (ever!) going to end. Right when I’ve heard, “Mama?” 50,000 times. Right when I’ve gathered Brody out of the street 50,000 times. And right when I’ve scooped poop 50,000 times. Sigh.
This could have stressed me out, made me crabby and had me pithily, sarcastically, defensively responding to my guy. And it has before. But not tonight.
Don’t go feeling sorry for us. We haven’t completely lost the pith and sarcasm from our marriage. It’s just that lately I’ve learned (again) that I don’t actually have to buy every single worry that comes my way. Shocking, I know.
So while I’m a firm believer that a little bit of worry makes the world go round, there is a difference between change inducing worries and old worries, old stresses. The ones that we reach for simply because they’re familiar, easy to maneuver and we know what to expect from them. It’s not because they’re good for us. It’s just that they’re not scary. They’re not, you know, new. My husband’s buddy calls these, “old tapes.”
We play old tapes until we finally reach a point where we’re ready for change. Have you ever heard people say that the universe keeps handing us the same lesson, until it’s learned? Kind of like that.
A very wise Mama once wrote to me, “Judaism has this lovely concept of spirals. Every year we come back to the same holidays, but WE’RE in a different place.” I read those words many weeks ago and I thought that they were beautiful then. They rejuvenated my appreciation for our calendar, so chock full of celebrations that it sometimes leaves me breathless, tired and over-taxed.
So tonight, when Jason worked late and I flew solo a little longer than usual, I was indeed breathless, tired and overtaxed. But once Jason got home, instead of rushing around grumpily trying to get everyone to bed right on time and ending the night on a sour note, we carved out some later-than-usual time together and started sharing Simchat Torah with our children.
During Simchat Torah we celebrate the BIG accomplishment of reading the entire Torah throughout the past year, part by part, week by week. And now that we’re done, we rejoice, dance, eat sweets and immediately start all over again.
Why? The stories are the same. The words haven’t changed. We’ve read it through once, don’t we already KNOW?
Well, in my book the universe is giving us the benefit of the doubt. And is assuming that throughout the past year we’ve changed and spiraled and have the gumby-esque, sponge-like ability to glean, see, love or shed something (anything!) new. We embrace the possibility that there’s just plain more in those words. That the universe has at least one more thing to say to us before it pats us on the back and sends us on our way.

Sammy Spider's First Simchat Torah by Sylvia Rouss

A few weeks ago I received the curl-up-in-your-jammys cozy book, Sammy Spider’s First Simchat Torah by the fabulous Sylvia Rouss.
As Sammy Spider watches the family below his web learn about Simchat Torah, he gets more intrigued by the day. So much so that he just has to get as close as possible and experience it all for himself. Even if that means sticking himself to a celebratory candy apple! You know, like our two year olds would. And maybe, just maybe, they, Sammy and the toddlers that is, are onto something here.
Sylvia Rouss told me that she loved when Sammy found himself in an illustration within the book. I loved how determined Sammy was to be a part of the family’s Simchat Torah celebration. My girls loved that, too. And they also honed in on those delicious looking candy apples.

So we read the lovely story and had the sweet conversation. Much to my humble surprise, my girls expressed an interest in reading the Torah. And dancing with it. The dancing, however, was not a surprise. My wheels turned with possibilities. And then we dove into ooey-gooey-yumminess to make our own version of those apples, which included caramel. Of course.

And this kind of night will happen again. The late hours, sticky fingers and messy kitchen.
The new ideas, new possibilities and new learnings.
And I know that all of this newness is good in its rawest form. I know, but sometimes I forget.
So thanks for the reminder, universe. I’ll just be on my way now.

*Thank you to Kar Ben Publishing for this fab (free!) addition to our

Sammy Spider collection!*