Rosh Hashana 2012

Hopes and thoughts for the year ahead

  • My little once baby boy is now a toddler. I am so proud of C and myself for everything we have managed to give him in the last year, and he is a confident and happy little boy. However, I am hoping that this year will give him the communication skills to speak to us and to others, and make himself verbally understood. By this time next year he will be starting his third term of nursery, and I can only leave it in Gods hands to make sure he is ready for this huge step in interaction and social understanding. (Gulp.) He hasn’t ever let his eyes hold him back until now, long may it continue! I get frustrated and worried when people ask me ignorantly “is he really partially sighted?” I suppose my greatest hope is that people always continue to ask me that question!
  • I could never have imagined coming this far in my relationship as a daughter this time last year. My mother and I no longer argue, (although we drive each other mad sometimes) and in many ways our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been. I can say without doubt that I understand her more than I ever have done, and that I no longer worry that she doesn’t really want the relationship to start with. I hope that this year we can begin to enjoy each others company the way we sometimes used to during the manic bipolar nature of our time together during my teenage years. I also hope I can show her that she can trust that I’ll always be in her life, she isn’t alone, even while I cant soothe her loneliness. If I’m really honest, my fear is being sucked back into the craziness, and losing myself in it, in trying to help what can’t ever be changed. I think only heaven can show me a way to balance love with self-preservation. It’s certainly not something I’ve ever had much luck with in the past.
  • I could never have imagined that the biggest challenge of adulthood would be friendship. While my old friendships hold strong for the most part, it seems to be a well known but un-discussed fact of being a grown up that it is about 50 times more difficult to make lasting relationships. While in high school, all it took was a few shared classes or break times, nowadays things are so much more complicated. Play dates, Shabbat lunches, chats at the library… when do acquaintances become real friends? I finally feel like we have a community to be a part of, and have met some lovely people with kids similar ages to R, and a similar lifestyle to C and me. I hope that this year will bring us closer in a deeper way, and they will move from being people to pass time with, to being people we call in times of joy or need.

Reconnecting with old friends and family, finding peace with things which cannot be changed. Making the next steps towards goals both old and new, treating ourselves to much needed “me-time” and “family-time” alike. Success in our careers and family life and personal aspirations. The ability to give and accept, in equal measure.

I want to wish all this and more to all my friends and family, along with a huge thank-you to everyone who continues to read and support me, I cant say how much it means to me. To everyone who celebrates in one way or another, a Shana Tova U’Metuka, a healthy, happy and sweet new year.

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Playground swings and Mood swings

What happens to us between babydom and adulthood?

When R is happy, he is completely entirely happy. He will laugh with no inhibitions, flash a huge grin at strangers and family alike, and spread joy to everyone around with the sheer simplicity of his own. Similarly, when he is miserable, regardless of the source of his sadness, (generally food being removed from his vicinity) it is the worst calamity to befall any person ever in the history of the world. His entire face will scrunch up with the force of his misery, and his cries can be truly pitiful to hear.

So why do we hide our emotions behind a ‘brave face?’ I dont mean pretending to be fine. That’s a different story, and there are many occasions where full throttle screaming or uncontrollable giggling are socially unacceptable, and rightly squashed. I mean the people (and we all know a few) who are desperate for you to know how irritated/angry or conversely how happy/excited they are. But they cant tell you. Oh no, they have to sit in a corner with a face on. And it’s just as annoying whether it is a badly suppressed scowl or a barely hidden smirk. Just say what you want to say!

It makes life so much more complicated when people feel the need to hint towards their hidden emotions, or to give you a sliver of what they’re thinking, but hold the rest back and make you dig for it. In this respect, I think babies have it right. I am left with no doubt that R is slightly displeased that I’m putting him down for a nap. I dont question for a minute that he is enjoying his chumus sandwiches, and the look on his face when I walk into his room in the morning,.. well lets just say I think he may be pleased to see me. 🙂

Additionally, once a situation is over, it’s over. While a person can hold a grudge for weeks or months, a baby forgets in the time it takes to hand them a breadstick. Really? You took away my scrunched up piece of foil? I dont remember that at all.. and equally, You have always been mean to me and never let me do anything fun, thats why you wont let me climb that bookshelf…

A grin can turn into a wail, and a scream can turn into a smile, all in seconds. While adults are left wondering how to awkwardly break the silence, or what words to use for an apology, or even how to show someone that they are not okay, a baby has either got over it or made it obvious in the blink of an eye.

At this time of year, when we are all trying to find ways to build bridges and speak from our hearts, I think we could take a leaf out of these mini people’s book, and just say what we’re feeling, both good and bad, and try to start this new year with a clean and honest slate.