Posts Tagged ‘ Caillou ’

Weathering Hurricane Irene

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Hurricane-Irene-BakingDon’t believe what you hear from most New York City residents about Hurricane Irene being a dud. Our corner of the city felt the storm’s wrath, and it left more fallen limbs, uprooted trees, and dangling electrical wires than I care to think about. Yet somehow, my older daughter declared yesterday “the best day ever.” And she’s got a point.

It didn’t start off that way. All of us were woken at around 4 a.m. Sunday morning by what sounded like a small army angrily marching across our roof. It must have come from a bunch of branches coming down all at once, but we frankly weren’t sure. Adira told us she was scared, and we admitted that we were a bit worried, too. I think she appreciated our sharing in and validating her feelings–and appreciated even more the super-rare invitation to sleep in our room. And then something near-miraculous happened: She actually slept, solidly, for a few hours. We expected her to be up, either worried about the storm or excited at the prospect of sleeping in our room, but we all got some needed rest.

The day picked up from there. We managed a morning walk around the neighborhood, and built a tent in her room, where she read books, played games, and had a snack. Thanks go to a Caillou episode for the idea. We cooked applesauce and baked cupcakes, something healthy and something not, and she pretended to open a restaurant. Our next-door-neighbor came over for a visit, and I got out for a late-afternoon walk with the baby.

We didn’t hear even once during the day the mantra so often repeated on other lazy days, “I’m bored.” Maybe we were better prepared, having expected to remain indoors all day. Or maybe when faced with the reality of the storm and the damage she saw, Adira knew on some level she needed to make the most of it and not complain.

The best day ever? Maybe not for us adults. But as things go, it was a pretty darn good one. I am proud of Adira for making the most of it, and will think back with some (tiny, begrudging) bit of fondness on angry Irene.

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Christmas vs. Hanukkah, Round 1

Monday, October 25th, 2010

HanukkahThanks to the PBS show Caillou, my daughter, who is almost 4, knows all about Christmas–about Santa, Christmas trees, presents, and caroling.  Thanks to my wife and me and some quick counter programming on our part, Adira also knows all about Hanukkah, about the candles and presents and foods. She also knows that we don’t celebrate Christmas but her babysitter does, and that Santa is pretend, for everyone and not just us.

And so it begins. Thanks a lot, Caillou. I was entirely unprepared for a DVD from the library called “Winter Wonders” featuring an otherwise bland, bald kid (whose name is not Charlie Brown) to bring Christmas into our home. In  October, no less. But that’s parenting. We don’t get to choose the timing.

I am not squeamish about differences and diversity.  I’m the observant Jew who studied religious pluralism at a divinity school, and who’s written about everything from Hare Krishnas to Mormons to evangelicals.  The last thing I want is to bring my daughter up in a world where she thinks everyone behaves and believes as we do, or looks down on those who don’t. Well… maybe that’s the second-to-last thing I want–the very last being bringing her up in a world where she doesn’t understand, appreciate, and love our own tradition and heritage, and in which she is jealous or angry that we don’t do as others do. (more…)

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