Wow! Quiet day…

The dear husband was up last night when S woke up with a fever of 102.7 F. Ibuprofen was administered, and S slept. We knew that we weren’t going to synagogue today as a family.

This morning, the program at our synagogue/shul included “Boker Ohr” – Morning Light – a special, alternative service led by our cantor, Rochelle Helzner, along with an amazing percussionist, and we had been talking last night about how it would be valuable for the dear husband,who has been struggling with gaining a sense of rhythm in his quest to become a sax player, to hear this guy play.

Two parents, two kids. One sick kid. One parent wanting to attend this service and hear this drummer (and possibly ask him for some tutoring on rhythm). Challenge – the not-sick-anymore kid didn’t want to go to shul with his daddy.


But, we didn’t cave in to the demands of the 4yo, and a screaming child was carted off in the stroller for the 1.7 mile walk to shul, while S slept.

And I was left home, in peace and quiet. And it was boring.

I can’t recall the last time I was home on a Saturday morning – for that past several years its been either at shul, or at work (on those weeks when I have to cover inpatient duties in the hospital at University of Maryland hospital).

This was weird.

I was sorely tempted to launch the iPad, and start writing these thoughts – who would know? The only potential witness was sound asleep. Guilt won. I didn’t launch the iPad. I read – first the New Yorker magazine, and then the Washington Post. And then I got to work sorting clothes that have been accumulating in our guest bedroom.

And, then, I sang!

I often think I’ll practice my music on Shabbat/sabbath, but, with the boys running around, and often demanding attention, I don’t usually get any time to sing, and the day flies by, and I feel wiped out by the end, and not in any mood to sing. But, today, I actually had time, and I sang. So wonderful.

I had really hoped to work on learning, word by word, the song “Adon Olam” – Lord of the Universe, or eternal lord, the closing hymn to the Shabbat morning services. Why? Because I have now taken charge of the “Tot Shabbat” service, leading it once a month, and my debut was last week, and I got out of sync with the verses of this hymn, frame-shifted, after the first two lines were sung, and struggled to get back on track. I figured that, if I study the meaning of the words, it might help me stay on track next time,

I’ve learned this valuable strategy in my last several years of singing with Zemer Chai, a remarkable community choir committed to singing Jewish music in all its gloried variety – linguistic, musical, cultural, and spiritual.

Well, I sang my voice lesson pieces, and a few of my Zemer Chai songs, but then S called down for water. That was at noon. I was stunned that he slept until midday – I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of his being here with us in our family in the US. He woke up, drank some water, and we read a couple of fairy tales from the Provensen Book of Fairy Tales. We read The Nightingale, and The Prince and the Goose Girl. J and daddy got home part-way through the latter.

We then played two board games – Sorry, and Rivers, Roads & Rails. S won both times, and each time after starting out behind, but staying patient and not getting upset and frustrated. I know part of it was his lack of energy from being sick, but we commended him on his good behavior. Maybe he can channel that next time, when he’s well.

Then, he slept again. Too weird!

We are accustomed to dealing with J sick. He seems to catch every bug, and is laid low by them, but S either doesn’t catch the bug that hits us all, or only gets the mildest case, and pushes right through. For him to voluntarily stay immobile for a full day was bizarre. I actually went upstairs several times to make sure he was breathing!

I sometimes find his inexhaustibility exhausting, but today I missed it, and I hope he’ll be back to his usual high-energy self tomorrow. He has a big day, with Hebrew school, a baseball game, and a birthday party. I know he’ll hate to miss everything!

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