My son just joined Sayarut (like the Boy Scouts, but without badges, and coed).
Today, he came home from a Sayarut tiyul (hike), tired and hungry.
Moshe brought him straight to the pool, for his swimming lesson; which would have been great, except he got there too late, and had to wait around until we were ready to leave.
At first, he sat next to me, as I watched my final class finish swimming laps. It was sweet. He held my hand, and told me all about the tiyul. (shhhhh, don't tell!! He's too "cool" to hold his mommy's hand! But, sometimes, he forgets....)
Anyway, after ten minutes, he got bored and, understandably, a little grumpy. OK, a lot grumpy.
I knew that I had to get him home, fed, and into bed.
So, imagine my surprise, when, even before we got home, he started offering to help, at every possible opportunity! He even helped his little sister, who was a total grumpy-head!!
I thought, Moshiah (the Messiah), must be coming!! (and I don't usually think he (or she) is about to get off the plane anytime soon...)
He was a perfect little gentleman throughout dinner. He was generous, and patient, and helpful, and more. I asked him for a cup of water and he jumped up and got water for everyone! (Usually, his little sister does that, but she was still sulking. Thank God, she got over it (whatever "it" was), by the end of supper)
Anyway, back to my unexpected angel: When I asked him to load the dishwasher, he asked permission to go to the bathroom first! And then, when he came back, he loaded the dishwasher without being reminded!!
I don't know how many of you have 11 year old boys, but I have never seen my 11 year old boy act this way.
Before my son was born, I had all sorts of egalitarian ideas about raising boys.
Let me tell you, those dolls didn't make a bit of difference!
I have a stereotypical BOY! He builds spaceships out of LEGO, climbs trees so high that I can't look, plays soccer every recess, and even does the "Tom Sawyer thing" and gets his little sister (you know, the one with whom he bickers all the time) to clean his room for him!
My son can run around for hours, and not get tired. But, ask him to help around the house and then he is "too tired."
After he had done everything, and more, he headed off to bed. As he was about to round the corner, he turned and asked: "was I good?"
"You were great!" I answered, enthusiastically.
He raised his arms like he'd won the soccer championship and his face was beaming!
When he was all ready for bed, he came over and started philosophizing about behavior and how what we do makes us feel. Clearly, his change in attitude was the result of a conscious decision.
He's definitely a boy, but he's on his way to being the Philosopher King....
That's fine with me....just as long as he helps with the dishes!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,