a 6 year old Tornado of a Girl and her cross.
(As we pause today to celebrate Rosh Ha Shanah I wanted to re-share a story of faith and family.)
Ive written about how growing up I struggled with wanting to fit in.
We all did in some fashion. I’m not unique in this way.
For me it was a little longing to go to CCD (why did I imagine that being fun?) & wanting to *not* miss school for Jewish holidays (with hindsight I cringe. back then I wanted not to stand out.)
Some of you have written about how you’d wished your appearance had been different (“I wanted blond hair like Barbie!”).
Others have confided you’d secretly longed you’d come from a different family of origin.
All of us agree it’s the differences we’d perceived to be “embarrassing” which now conspire to make us strong.
For that reason, I was surprised the Child didn’t clamor to celebrate Christmas this year.
Id assumed with the advent of Kindergarten & being surrounded by the season at school (a rant for a different day) she’d ask for a tree, a stocking and/or why we didn’t receive the coveted visit from Santa.
we do see Santa annually–we just go to him!
I definitely had these thoughts & questions at her age.
As a result, I was on high-alert around the holidays & completely prepared for the We’re Jewish. We celebrate Hanukkah. conversation.
What’s the quote?
We map out detailed religious conversation-plans and G-d laughs?
Of course in this misfit-family that’s precisely what happened. Nothing. No conversations needed or necessary.
The other morning, however, I discovered her fastidiously fashioning something out of popsicle sticks.
Since she’s a crafts-obsessed kid I didn’t think too much about it. I figured she was trying to make a G-d’s Eye as they had in school.
A few minutes later I heard footsteps, the front door slam and, after curiosity got the better of me, I peeked outside to see what she was doing.
She’d created a cross out of sticks and was using a rock to pound it in the soil.
When she came inside I nonchalantly asked what she’d been doing.
I accidentally stepped on snails, Mama. I made a cross for them like we see on the road!
And, just like that, our conversation about religion (& crosses & commemorating) was born.
Similar to many of my healthy living ah ha! moments her light bulb moment about who she is/how our family is
unique was born not from a big!momentous!occasion! like Christmas—-but a small, almost aside of an incident.
I’ve been fortunate to hear many, many of your stories about discovering your healthy living paths.
It seems the majority of you began your journey as I did: not sparked by a life-altering incident but by a small, quietly powerful moment.
Alas, Ive no Seinfeldian-string to pull with this post.
There’s no sleight of hand where all my musings fall into place & the disparate pieces *snap* together.
Today’s incident was simply a reminder of two things:
- No matter how much we prepare for life it will take us by surprise (& that’s a good thing).
- Who we are & how we define ourselves is often a compilation of the small stuff. Little traits and moments coming together.
In the end she chose not to make a popsicle stick Star of David (“like on Mama’s belly!”) & created a letter T instead.
While she insisted she made it to represent “top! I mean wait, tears!“ I think she, like her mama, lacked the arts & crafts patience fashioning a 6-pointed star would have necessitated.
That’s the navel-gazing (in more way than one) story here on this Rosh Ha Shanah day.
Filled with crosses, ah ha! moments, & the differences which define us.
Oh, and if you starT seeing T’s all over AusTin or your Town, you’ll know my Tornado of a girl was able To sTarT a Trend.
Crazier things have happened.
Especially in my life.