Wednesday, March 7, 2012


This past weekend was the Purim festival at Rodef Sholom, and I was – again – struck by the difference that a year makes. Purim, if you’ll remember, is the Jewish holiday based around the story of Esther saving the Jews in Egypt from Haman. If I’m not mistaken, it’s also one of the few large-scale Biblical stories that does not feature G-d’s direct involvement, and it’s a holiday that is, essentially, a fun one.

At Rodef, they have a great little carnival for the kids. They’ve got carnival games, like dart throwing, the bowling ball roll-over-the-hill thing, pick the duck out of the water, lollypop tree, etc., all of which wins you tickets. You can use tickets to win prizes, most of which are the usual carnival stuff that’s immense amounts of fun for the thirty seconds after you get home before you break it.

Last year, The Boy had been out of treatment for less than a year. He had been in preschool there for three months, and the whole concept of “waiting in line” was foreign to him. Little Bear was one and a half, and waiting in line was simply nonexistent. We dressed them up as Iron Man and Spider Man, I think, and the festival was very overwhelming for them.

This year, The Boy was quite firm in what he wanted to do, and he was willing to wait in line to get it. He understood that the wait was worth the payoff, and we went around the entire festival and played every game once. He actually won a handful of skill games all by himself – knocking over some cans with a ball, catching a randomly falling device, throwing a beanbag through the “monster’s” mouth! He and I together won the rolling the bowling ball thing, which is a first for me in many years of trying. He tried a couple of times, but he couldn’t actually get the ball over the first hill. I helped him give a little push, and it was pretty awesome!

Evidence of the change in interests: last year, The Boy spent a solid 25 minutes playing with the little plastic duck pond. He wasn’t so much interested in playing the game and winning tickets as much as he was interested in pushing the ducks around the pond. This year? Walked up, pushed the ducks around for a few seconds, picked the duck up, took his tickets, and moved on to the next booth, which was – coincidentally – Sno-cones.

Little Bear was somewhat less interested in playing the games and quite interested in jumping in the bouncy house. He was not quite understanding the concept of “wait your turn” with that, which did cause some issues. There really isn’t anything much cuter than a 2 year old in a bounce house! Little Bear is quite the bouncing baby boy as it is, and anything that helps him ACTUALLY bounce…..

That’s not to say that he didn’t play any games. He did, enough to win some little plastic knickknacks. The Boy, on the other hand, won 47 tickets and took home one of those little “wood” dinosaur models. He and I will put that together this weekend, once I’m home from my chorus retreat.

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