This past sunday was the first day of Hebrew School for J.
He was not excited.
We tried, as always, to preview this transition for him. We told him about the plans the day before, but he wasn’t too interested in hearing it.
We woke him up on Sunday morning, in plenty of time for getting ready for his Hebrew school class, which was going to begin at 9am.
He started tantruming….
“I don’t want to do it!”
“But, it’s you old school, the ECC, don’t you want to go back and see your old teacher, Ms. L?”
We wrestled him into his clothes, and somehow calmed him down enough to get into the car. I drove him over to the synagogue, and walked in with him. And I didn’t get to leave for the next two hours.
I can’t say I was disappointed, though.
We have a new structure for our rejuvenated Hebrew School model at Tikvat Israel. It’s the one-room school room, for grades K-2, and the class comprised 6 students, ranging across the age spectrum. I think J was the youngest, but Ms. L, who was J’s teacher last year, displayed true genius at accommodating all the ages, and allowing the childrens’ interests to guide her teaching. She clearly had a teaching plan for the morning, but she was able to modify it as fit the interests of the kids attention, so that everyone got involved and active in the learning. There was plenty of Hebrew, but I’m not sure the kids even noticed how much they were learning. I was in awe!!
So, we left, after 2 1/2 hours of instruction, and J was pretty happy about the experience (which I consider to be a triumph, after having the preceding tantrum).
Our next challenge of the day was going to be J’s first baseball game of the season. We had already struggled through two practices earlier in the week – the first which he didn’t participate at all, and the second which he participated reluctantly.
I’m not sure we previewed this activity as well as we might, but we were depending on bribery – he wanted dinner at Noodles & Company, followed by ice cream at Baskin & Robbins – and we hoped that would carry the day.
When we announced that we needed to get ready to go to his game, he launched on tantrum #2, and sat on the floor in our basement screaming that “I hate baseball!!”
Somehow, we managed to get him into the car.
The drive to the baseball game was about 30 minutes, and he fell asleep within minutes of our departure from home. Sadly, he was sound asleep when we arrived, and not quite ready to wake up. So, he resumed his tantrum when we got to the field.
He spent the first inning lying, and crying, in the shady space between our folding camp chairs that we brought. By the second inning, when his team was up to bat, he had calmed down enough to negotiate with us – “If I bat one time, can we go to Noodles & Company for dinner?”
We replied “We will take you to Noodles & Company if you bat once, and spend one inning in the field.”
And he did.
Big brother S was hugely helpful, coaching him on batting…
And, then standing with him in left field, supporting him in the notion that he didn’t want to have to catch any balls!! (S said to him “If the ball comes towards you, just stand still and let someone else go for it.”)
And, after he did his one time at bat, and his one time in the field, he played catch with his brother and his dad, showing off some impressive skill at both catching and throwing.
So, maybe there is still hope that he might enjoy playing baseball on a team.
Or, maybe not….