Today was Purim, a Jewish festival where it has become customary to masquerade in fancy dress. I say become customary, it became customary at the end of the 15th Century. Nowadays it is more social law, especially when kids are involved.
C and I have never had any trouble getting in the festival spirit, and since we got married, as well as since we had R, we have always dressed up as a team. This year, we became superheroes.
Surely you mean you dressed up as superheroes? (I hear you ask.) No no, we actually were superheroes. We spent the afternoon with our parents, and from start to finish it was pretty difficult. We used our super human strength not to cause an almighty row, and our superhuman patience not to walk out. Next to the powers we displayed today, spidey senses are pretty tame.
Why can family holidays only go one of the two extremes? You either have the best time ever, and wonder why you dont see your family more often, or you leave wondering if you can possibly get out of next year already.
Today was the latter. And it was nothing new really. Nothing we couldnt have anticipated. Certainly nothing that we havent discussed to death after many trips to see the generation above us. And maybe our expectations are too high. People say that you either go one of two ways when it comes to being parents. You either repeat your own parents mistakes, or you are so aware of them that you make the huge effort to escape them and do the opposite.
Well, with God’s help, I would like to be able to promise my son the following:
- If you tell me something in confidence, I won’t announce it at the dinner table / secretly tell the rest of the family and make them swear not to mention it. Until they do anyway.
- If we’re annoyed at each other, we will always try to discuss it calmly and out of your hearing.
- I wont volunteer you to do a million expensive or timewasting errands which you are capable of offering to do yourself if you so choose.
- I wont whisper childish jibes about you, just loud enough for you to hear, and then get angry when you ask me to stop.
- I wont ignore what you tell me, and then blame you for the results.
Do I really think my expectations were too high? No. Not really. And like I said, it was nothing we didnt expect, and with or without our costumes, the two of us have built up a fairly great arsenal of super-powered weaponry to deal with these battles. What makes me nervous is, there are now three of us.
And just as our little man has no idea he is in a costume today, he has no idea that today is anything different from any other. He doesnt expect any difference from the normal cloud of love and respect that he is constantly enveloped in. Spiderman or otherwise, he hasnt learned to find his superpowers, and I kind of hoped he wouldnt have to, at least not yet. Watching him today, disappearing into his Baby Einstein programme, and whining almost constantly to go home, I was so glad that he had no real understanding of what was going on around him. Most of all, I was thankful that we had the super-power he needed, the one we both have waited for for so many years, to be able to fly him back to a happy home.