Mishpacha & Me

I spent an hour today at J’s preschool, attending their annual program, “Mishpacha & Me”.

Mishpacha means family in Hebrew, and my first connection to the word was from a Harry Belafonte album, “Belafonte at Carnegie Hall”, when he includes the word in the song “Mama Looka Boo Boo Day” (and he does a lovely rendering of the word – “mish-PUCHA-a”).

The photo I’ve posted is a little misleading – he wasn’t so thrilled the whole time.

Don’t get me wrong – he was thrilled to see me walk in.  But he got incredibly clingy!!  Most of the time he was hiding his face in the crook of my arm, or burying his face in my chest – very sweet, but it made catching any pictures of him in his school environment tough!

We started off in the Circle, and got some instructions from his teacher, Ms Marian (above left) on how to make their morning snack – a rolled Torah scroll made of a slice of bread spread with cream cheese, and two long pretzels serving as scroll-handles, etz hayyim:

(see him hiding his face? this was the whole morning).

He finally got to work eating his Torah, and he got a kick out of the joke of eating a Torah (how silly!!)

Then, we gathered back in the Circle, and got our next instructions.  We each had a wooden picture frame, and foam stickers, and we were to decorate our frames into which we would be receiving a photo of our child with his/her Mishpacha (me, in Junet’s case), to remember this day.  J enjoyed doing the decorating, but when it came time to take our picture, he again went back to hiding (or sulking).  I think Ms Diana finally got a decent photo.

I finally left for work, hoping that I didn’t have too much cream cheese embedded in my shirt or my hair (!!).  I think I was reasonably presentable.

One of the other mom’s who was in our class, who must be new to the ECC, asked “How often does the school do this program” to which the answer was “Once a year”.  Her face fell, and she explained “I want my husband to be here”.

I could sympathize.

Last year, with both S and J at the ECC, my husband and I both attended this day, and we divided and conquered – each of us splitting time between the two classes.  This year, he was busy preparing for a meeting he is attending this coming weekend (he leaves town Friday morning), so I went to Mishpacha & Me on my own.  In fact, J asked “Where’s Daddy?” as soon as I got there.

So, I’m hoping that next year, we can both attend.  Kids notice these things…

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