It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Which probably means that I shouldn’t be writing on the computer, but I’m not really that kind of Jew, so that’s okay.
I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions, not because I’m not the type of person who doesn’t totally freaking adore the concept of New Year’s resolutions, what with their promise of self-improvement and lists and all. No, I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions because therein lies the possibility of, shall we say, going overboard. I mean, once you resolve to do one thing, about 72 others seem to want to follow and then life becomes an endless pursuit of perfection, which leads to strife. So, usually, if anything, I resolve to do something relatively benign like “See more movies” or “Be nicer to the grey cat.”
But this year, this Rosh Hashanah, I have been mulling over one resolution that I think I actually need to resolve. It involves my children, and for this reason alone I will now take a short break in order to pick them up from their various after-school activities because a corollary to this resolution may just be that I will not be late for picking them up because I am blogging about how I am going to change my behaviour around them. It’s okay, though, because you won’t actually notice that I took a short break.
See! I’m back! No noticing, all good.
So, yes. My resolution. I will… I’m not sure exactly how to phrase this in a sentence so I will give you an example:
One evening this past summer, the kids were being, shall we say, high-energy but also very happy, and also — unrelated — we needed lemons. So, for a change of scenery, I decided to take them to the store to buy said lemons. And so we got to the store and we got lemons and I was heading to the checkout counter (and hoping that the cashier wasn’t going to talk to me too much) and the kids they were all like, “Can we go see the lobsters?”, as in the live lobsters in the tank at the back of the grocery store.
And I was all like, “No, no, we’ve just got to buy the lemons and go home.” And they were all like, lobsters, and I was all like, no no no we can’t have any fun and why can’t you just frog-march like some unsmiling little prisoners in some Gulag quietly through the grocery store and not have any fun any time ever instead of WASTING MY TIME with requests full of childlike wonder and awe to see the live lobsters in the back of the store? To paraphrase.
Fortunately, I came to my senses long enough to realize what a jerk I sounded like. A no you can’t go see the lobsters kind of jerk. And I realize that, yes, this is too often a lot of parents: we are tired and fed up and we must process eleventy million requests each hour, the vast majority of which are unreasonable. But still, still, too often I default to the automatic no, the impulse to squelch any and all joy from a situation because it is inconvenient and I am tired.
And so I said to the kids, “Yes. Let’s go see the lobsters.” And then I watched them hop merrily down the aisle of the grocery store, stepping only on the dark checkerboard tiles on the floor, because they are children, and that is what children do.
So my resolution is Remember to Say Yes to the Lobsters. As often as I can, say yes to them.
Lobsters are not kosher, but that’s okay cause I’m not really that kind of Jew anyway.