Sunday, October 17, 2010


chana was happy enough to do rashi this morning. i realize we still need to hammer down and drill the pronunciation of some of the words. it feels like no matter how many times i tell her, she just reads it how she thinks of it in her head and doesn't even process that i'm telling her the correct pronunciation.

then we were going to do a new pasuk. i realized, though, that ever since we started the new story (tower of babel), i've been going over all the pesukim from the beginning of the perek. i think we are up to pasuk 5 today. so i warned her that she was going to be furious, and said we are doing all these pesukim, and she shrieked as i walked out of the room to tell ari to catch the spider on the ceiling that was freaking her out. so ari caught the spider, and she was sort of used to the idea.

i am in the middle of reading her a book, and i told her i would read after each pasuk. she did the first one, and i read a page. then another, and i read another. then she started flopping. and screaming etc.

and as she was tantrumming, i was thinking about how for years, when people find out i homeschool, they say, "you must have so much patience." and i always replied, "not really." if you take all the hours of the day from 8am to 8pm, or even later, then you really have lots and lots of relaxed time to hang out and to get work done. it never seemed to me to take nearly as much patience as, say, getting kids off to school in a morning rush and fighting over homework in a very short amount of time while also trying to make dinner, feed everyone, and put everyone to bed.

and yet, as i sat here today, i thought, "yes, i am patient. i am very, very, very patient." and i've noticed that i've been thinking that a lot lately. i guess patience is described as wanting to lose your temper but not. because if you're not upset, then that's not patience, is it? if i know that i go to disney world and the line will be 45 min, and i'm not upset, that's not patience.

so as chana is screaming (and oh, how i want to video this so she can see it when she's older) and i'm thinking about how patient i am and patting myself on the back and calling myself a saint (which as you know, i don't have all good days like that and particularly a week or so ago i was decidedly impatient). and i was thinking about how important it is for me to do this.

i value torah. as a jew, i want chana to have the skills to read the torah in its original language. this takes work, and effort. chana is having particular difficulty putting in the work and effort. she gets frustrated.

my voice is the voice that she will hear in her head throughout life, as she has challenges. when she confronts something difficult, that she wants to give up on, i want her to hear my voice, patient, loving, and firm. you can do this. you will do this. i see how hard this is for you. i see you struggling. you will do it. you will succeed.

not encouraging, like a life coach. but implacable, sure, sympathetic, and firm. to carry her through the frustration, through the screaming. the voice of her mom, who doesn't let her back down in the face of her own frustration, who supports her through it, who guides her through it.

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