Haveil Havalim #326: Jewish Blog Carnival, the post-Tu-B'Av edition
Earth and pine

Sleepy Monday

Asleep in the carseat.

It was a full and active weekend. Friday night and Saturday morning I helped a family in our community celebrate their daughter becoming bat mitzvah. Maybe my favorite moment of the celebration was a small and private one: standing outside our sanctuary with the bat mitzvah girl just before services began on Shabbat morning. The sun was burning off the morning's mist; the mountains were revealing themselves again to our view. Together we recited the bracha for wearing a tallit, and together twirled our tallitot onto our shoulders, wrapping ourselves in their fabric and their fringes -- and then we came inside, and services began, complete with singing and Torah reading and candy flying through the air! All good things.

And then I returned home, changed into casual clothes, and put my rabbi role aside in order to be mama for the rest of the weekend. (Of course I am always both at once! But I often feel, when I change out of my synagogue clothes and into shorts and a t-shirt, that I'm letting my mama self become ascendant again.) There was a visit to a playground, featuring slides and swings. We played a game of "run in the grass until you fall down laughing." (This is one of Drew's favorites right now.) And then, after dinner and a bath and changing him into pyjamas, we bundled him into the car and drove the four hours to New Hampshire for a family reunion of the descendants of the siblings among whom Ethan's grandmother Winnie was counted.

Sunday we drove around smalltown New Hampshire, admired trains and ducks and trucks, gathered with family, swam in a lake, introduced Drew to his great-grandmother's sister, played with toys, marveled at one of the most powerful rainstorms I've ever seen, and drove home again. And now it is Monday morning and work calls -- mourners to comfort, a funeral to perform, phone messages to return, services and classes to plan. I must admit: I'm a little bit exhausted! But I'm grateful for the weekend's gifts, even as I'm mindful of the challenges it presented. (And I'm glad that this coming weekend, which is one of my weekends "off," we're not going anywhere at all.)