Most people know about the Jewish High Holiday, kicked off every fall with Rosh HaShanah, followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur. In our area, the public schools are off for one day for both holidays (I cannot recall whether this was true in California). But, many people don’t realize that Yom Kippur is followed by another holiday, Sukkot, which lasts 7 days, and then the whole season is brought to closure by Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, two consecutive days where the Torah (Bible) commands that “you shall do no work”.
Since J attends preschool at the Early Childhood Center that is located in (and is part of) our synagogue, his school was closed for Monday and Tuesday for Rosh HaShanah, then we had five regular days of work/school. Yom Kippur was on Wednesday, and we were all off work and school together (including S, who only got one day off school for RH). The following week, J’s school was off for Monday and Tuesday, for the first two days of Sukkot, and this week, he was also home for Monday and Tuesday, for Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.
By the end of all these days off, we all seem to be getting a little holiday-fatigue, which is a bit sad, as the last celebration, Simchat Torah, is a blast!! At least, I think so. The celebration marks the moment in the year that we read the final chapter in the fifth book (Deuteronomy) of the Torah, and immediately turn back to the first chapter of the first book (Genesis), to start the cycle of readings all over again. To celebrate this, we dance around the synagogue carrying all the Torah scrolls available, we sing joyful songs, and everyone is encouraged to get involved. The kids are also encouraged to get involved, in a variety of ways, with the goal of fostering a love of Torah by associating it with such outward expressions of joy.
But, it did end up meaning a lot of days off from work, and both R and I were feeling the impending backlog of work piling up waiting for us. So, there was some relief in getting back to our respective offices and starting to tackle it all.
But, then, J got a cough. No fever, but a runny nose and a hacking cough, worse at night, which meant no sleep for us for the past two nights. We tried everything, including pulling out the nebulizer for a hit of albuterol, which worked great when J was 18months old, and had an RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infection, but did nothing this time. Cough syrup didn’t work, because J doesn’t like the taste.
So, J missed one more day of school this week, but finally went in today. He wasn’t totally happy about going back to school, but that’s life.
One J quote that came up this week that I noted and want to remember: he woke up at 2-3am (as he’s been doing most night for the past couple of weeks), and when I went in to his from, he sat up and said “I
a bad dream”. We usually use the passive voice in reference to dreams, good or bad “I
a dream”, but doesn’t it make more sense to take ownership. Dreams don’t happen to us, we generate them. We make them. They are a product of our mental processes, even if subconscious. I’m sure he’ll learn to say “I
a dream”, but I want to remember this, maybe more as a reminder to myself than anything else.