This morning, on the way to our “Jewish” class…
Not “Hebrew School” as we are not learning hebrew, but rather a class at our synagogue of choice (Renewal, feminist, politically and socially aware, multi-cultural, all kinds of families, etc.) for parents and kindergarteners; we learn about holidays and rituals, we sing songs, read books, do crafts, and make and eat a thematically-related snack.
Highlight the cook-and-eat-snack part.
Now, back to the story…
This morning, on our way to Jewish class, Jonah says:
Honey, you can’t be hungry. You already ate blueberry pancakes with bacon and sausage and potatoes and broccoli this morning. Every Sunday morning, when we drive to Jewish class, you tell me you’re hungry and I tell you that you will be fine. And as soon as we get there, you forget about being hungry and you’re fine until snack. You’re not hungry, you’re bored.
Yeah! I’m BORED.
Honey, it’s good for you to be bored. You know what happens when you are bored? That’s the time when your brain gets to rest. And then that’s when your brain can come up with new ideas for stuff. If your brain never got to rest, if everything was exciting all the time, that wouldn’t leave any space for you to get new ideas.
Jonah considers this, seems to be accepting of this concept. I continue:
It’s like the excitement is breathing in for your brain, and the boredom is breathing out. You need both. If you only breathed in all the time, you would explode, right?
He thinks about this. Responds with a question:
Mom, if you only breathed in, would you really explode?
Well honey, you can try, but actually your body won’t let you do that. You have these things called reflexes. Reflexes are things that happen in your body without your brain having to think about it. So your body will make sure you breathe out before you explode.
I make a note to myself that while reflexes and autonomic nervous system are not the same thing, this is far enough for today into this territory, really too far already. What am I telling this kid? Still, feeling pretty brilliant for latest reason to combat the “I’m BORED” complaint.
After Jewish class, while waiting for Jonah to collect his things, I check Facebook on my phone, because isn’t that what we all do in our interstitial moments? Just as Jonah reaches me, I am emoting with another mom, about posts about Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death. You know, making faces and sounds of sadness.
Jonah asks what happened.
Somebody died. An actor.
Was he old? Like Nana and PopPop?
No, he was closer to my age.
And here’s where I start to worry — I don’t want my child to think that I might die at any moment for no reason. And thus, I find myself suddenly trying to explain drug overdose. TO MY SIX-YEAR-OLD. Parent-of-the-year award officially revoked…
He died because he… how am I going to explain this? Honey, you know how I’m always talking to you about not having too much sugar, because it’s not good for you?
So, sometimes grown-ups take too much medicine. They like it and they know it’s not good for them but they do it anyway.
He pauses and thinks for a while.
Sort of like coffee, but it’s medicine. Coffee is not dangerous, but with medicine, you have to be careful.
And if they take it every single day, all the time, too much of it, they die?
(Oh my gawd, how did I end up trying to explain drug overdose to my kindergartener? Slaps self repeatedly. Fortunately the subject appears to be closed…)
Mom, can you hand me my Batman drawing and a pen?
You want to draw in the car?
Yesterday, Jonah attended a birthday party that featured a fairy princess in full costume who provided face painting and magic show and balloon animal (or sword as desired) services.
Jonah loved the face paint, of course, and the balloon sword, natch, but the Magic…
That fairy can do REAL MAGIC, he says.
She made the box fill up with the stuffed dog.
And the pot was empty and then it was full of butterflies.
And she caught a bubble in her fingers that turned into a marble!
Me: Have you ever seen real magic before?
NO! And she can make herself small if she wants, so she can ride her dragon. (She had a small stuffed dragon puppet that was part of the act.)
Note to self, need to take the kid to more magic shows, while he is still young enough to believe in them. He’s been to one before, but maybe it didn’t seem magical enough. The magic as performed by a fairy in full fairy-garb and adorably squeaky voice was just the most divinely awesome experience ever.