[Introductory note: Shabbas (Saturday) is NOT a boring day. Although one can not watch TV or computer, knit, sew, or drive anywhere….It is far from boring. Exactly because it is a day that you can not use to catch up on housework or finish the report for your boss, it is a day that one can connect with family. I also read a lot. However, for my son Yitzchak, Ricki’s brother who is still at home (him being 2 years her senior), shabbas has been a bit boring lately. He does not enjoy reading (I have yet to figure out how the “reading genes” in our family didn’t kick in here…..). Yitzchak’s two older brothers (ages 18 and 20) are currently rooming together in a rented apartment. This has sort of left Yitzchak in a lurch, as he used to always do things with them on Saturday: walking, playing games, talking… With this introduction, you will understand my post much better.]
My oldest son, Yaacov, was here with his family for shabbas. He and his wife have a large family of four children: three boys (ages 7-3) and a daughter (age one and a half).
The daughter is finally walking, and so very different from her brothers. A female. Her mom said that she thought that much of the “girl” things that girls do are taught by culture. She expected her daughter, surrounded with boisterous siblings, to enjoy cars and ball. Yet she sees that her daughter has a much more gentle nature than her brothers. She strokes a doll that she picks up. She preens in front of a mirror. She is simply different.
I got out some speech cards for working on pragmatics, and played with Ricki and her oldest nephew. They enjoyed the funny pictures, and had a lot of fun. Ricki also had the pleasure of taking her niece out for a walk. A real treat for her.
Meanwhile, my second grandson was zooming around our house on a kick scooter. Our house is long and thin, an ideal set-up for accelerating vehicles.
I remember sometimes being bored at my grandparent’s house as a child. There really wasn’t much to do besides listen to adult conversation. But this grandmother, loaded with toys purchased over the years to use with Ricki, has a home that is far from boring. Yet my three-year-old grandson, living in an apartment with no windows facing the street, was more enthralled by the view of the street from our front window.
And my son Yitzchak had the best shabbas that he has had in a long time. His oldest nephew is one smart little kid, and Yitzchak enjoyed playing games with him. He also enjoyed holding his niece!