Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Not-So-Yom-Kippur

Here's my high holiday update:

Rosh Hashanah actually went quite well. We both had fun and we even made new friends! I only put him in babysitting for 10 minutes (so that I could daven the silent Amidah) and he did great. Within two days, though, he had gotten a nasty stomach bug I have to assume he picked up there. So we davened together and learned that babysitting can be a fun option--both growth experiences--but also learned that with little-kid fun comes an endless onslaught of little-kid germs.

Yom Kippur was a train wreck. What changed? Well, the synagogue--we went to a different minyan--and also, I guess, the baby. Ten days probably makes a big difference in the life of a young child. After about 5 failed attempts to actually daven--and let other people daven in peace--I retreated to babysitting, which I hadn't signed up for. But it was so chaotic there--children crawling the walls (not to mention the occasional sweet little child sitting alone chanting "mommy's coming soon" over and over)--and I just didn't feel right about adding another child to the mix--for the sake of my son and the sitters.

Finally we went home and took a big delicious nap. I woke up an hour earlier than my son and davened everything I had missed while lying next to him in my big bed, trying to preserve his nap just a little while longer. Neilah I did during his dinner time, pausing now and then to pick up his cup, add food to his tray, etc. When it was all done I made a big pretend shofar sound, and we sang L'shana Ha'baah B'Yerushalayim.

Surprising, after neilah I really felt moved. While there's a lot to be said about davening with the community, I think having my son before me throughout my atonement process really helped me be serious about making changes. For the first time I have someone whose success and happiness and choices in life will be impacted--maybe even determined--by my behavior in the years ahead. His face before me was a constant reminder.

I don't really regret my choices this year. My davening, when I finally got to it, was heartfelt, and my confession sincere. Plus I got to spend a nice day with my son, which certainly made the fast easier.

But next year, when my son is (please God) a feisty almost-two-year-old, I'm getting a sitter.

Chag sameach!

Mahotma Mama here I come!

1 comment:

mother in israel said...

Nice story. PS I added your blog to my blogroll.