And the 2 words every parent can't wait to hear: "Great news mom, no learning for 2 weeks!" That is how the lead-in to Purim started and while I don't think it has been entirely true, things have definitely lightened up. Considering that after Purim we will be in the "pre-Chag" period leading up to Passover, I am not too sure when learning will resume. The last couple of weeks have been marathons of crazy dress days, projects, parties, fun and fairs. Ariella asked why Mordechai is called a Yehudi (Jew) but Esther is not. An interesting question and I think one that comes from understanding the text in it's original language. She also wrote a song called "Haman is the loser." Don't ask for the lyrics because the title does double duty as chorus and refrain (with the occasional "we hope he does tshuva "<repentance> thrown in). Also, she wanted to know if Esther spoke both Hebrew and English.
Nehemiah's school fair started out sunny and beautiful and within 20 seconds turned dark, windy and started raining. My question for the evening was were we being punished or rewarded? Right now we're in a drought so we are all praying for rain but balance that against one of my father's mottos: No good deed goes unpunished, and well, you'll have to answer that one for yourself. The bouncy rides were taken down but the pedal cars continued and suffice it to say that for a 10-year old boy, racing pedal cars in the rain is a major reward.
Today I was able to see hundreds of kids in costume as schools did their own Purim parties. Adar is a good month to keep snacks, treats, and small change on hand because for the weeks leading up to Purim it gets celebrated everywhere the kids go and even if it's gymnastics class they find themselves exchanging goody bags and/or raising money for charity. My kids threw their things together from the Purim costume garage sale/fair we went to but some of these kids got seriously creative. Ariella ended up wearing a flamenco dancer dress she got from Savta Joanie a few years ago and went as a flamenco rock star (some of it's attitude). I saw quite a few flamenco dancers but none that had a rainbow wig and butterfly wings. Costumes are her thing.
Tonight we're going to Shabbat dinner with friends and than it's party, party, party. I'm hoping to make a quick run to my hospital on Purim day and take the kids to visit sick kids along with other members of our congregation before we go for our festive Purim meal. Nehemiah likes to say "Haman might have been a bad guy but if it weren't for him we wouldn't be having so much fun!" If we have time I can also give them a quick our of the ED, so that they can see how I am spending my days now that I have "graduated from ulpan."
Wishing you all (for whom it is relevant) a Happy Purim!