Adar is the month of the Jewish calendar we are in, and it is the month when Purim falls. Purim is the holiday of merry-making, things being turned upside-down, things not being what they seem, desires revealed, identities shifting; and the reminder that a month from now, kitchens will be turned upside down as we prepare for Passover, with all of its delightful obsessive-compulsive cleaning and fastidiousness.
This month for me has definitely been Adar-ish. Lots of shifting of identities, and feeling upside down and trying to right myself. Caring for my sons amidst a book tour that has taken me away from them more than I like has been hard for us all, and we are trying to recalibrate.
Since I have always claimed I am a normal mom, I wanted to share some pictures of a normal mom weekend with my boys. Here’s how it shook down.
I do so much laundry when I have my boys. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. We don’t use paper napkins or paper towels in my house, and these sons of mine go through shmattes and cloth napkins like there isn’t a drought. Well, there actually is and I’ve tried to encourage them to wipe their faces on napkins more than once please before putting them into the hamper. Anyway, I do a lot of laundry.
The weekend – Shabbat especially – is great for LEGO building. I saved my LEGO from when I was a kid and I have it separated into 2 separate drawers of a wooden dresser: one drawer is basic blocks and plates, and one drawer is all of the unusually shaped pieces. Anal retentive? Yes. Has it stayed thus divided for almost 18 months? Yes. Are my children the types who actually love the division of LEGO pieces and maintain it with minimal coercion because they are also anal retentive and love things in their place? Absolutely.
Little Man loves to play kitchen. Firstborn also loved kitchen play and still does to some extent, but Little Man loves an apron and setting up a market and running things through the little wooden cash register and wishing me a nice day. He especially likes to offer different kinds of bread at his market: French bread, “Jewish bread” (challah), Italian bread. Here’s his bread set-up. And yes, his market does accept club cards.
I can’t cook so much because of my hand, but there are a few things I can make. One of them is in my cookbook (LINK) and it’s modified Shepherd’s Pie. I basically saute half an onion, some garbanzo beans and some frozen (defrosted) peas (and carrots if you have that) in oil, garlic, mustard and some Italian herbs. I don’t even always make the mashed potatoes and bake it I just put it in a bowl with some ketchup and they literally eat it by the bowlful. Yum. In a life of me not being able to cook as much as I want to and in a world of me trying get used to cooking as a divorced mom, this nutritious meal was a shining light of the weekend.
It was Biblically pouring last weekend. Seriously raining hard. Like my roof was even leaking it was raining so hard. Well, no such thing as bad weather, folks. Just bad clothing. Here are our boots lined up after a lovely hour long rain walk from which we returned very wet and pretty happy, except for Little Man who actually fell into a mud puddle a block from my house and whose underwear was actually wet so he was kind of upset. On our rain walks, we look for worms, we watch patterns of water going down storm drains, we clean up trash that’s lying about, and we watch how amazing the world looks when it’s wet. We also talk about how if you drop a peddle into a puddle, that wave movement mimics how sound and light move in wave patterns and how light is carried in discrete packets of goodness that behave like waves. It’s kind of like that with me as your mama, yeah.
I sometimes joke that I’m a blank canvas in life; that – say this with a phony English accent like you are an art teacher- we are all blank canvases in life! We had a playdate last weekend where the mom suggested face painting. I volunteered to be a blank canvas for Little Man and he could not even believe his mama was letting him be his canvas but he had the best time. Here’s the results:
I’m super not normal in a lot of ways and I’m very quirky and very very imperfect, but that’s my pretty normal weekend in a nutshell. Onward to the next weekend! Shabbat Shalom!