Some day, maybe, I will learn.
Clearly, I need to learn the hard way.... the really slow and painfully hard way.
At first, it made sense to me. My son's sixth grade class was going to be decorating the school until midnight. Until my son got home and into bed, it would be at least 1:00 in the morning. Then he would have to get up at 6:00 in morning, after only five hours of sleep. But if the kids sleep in school, they could go to bed at 12:00 and get up at 7:30 -- gaining an extra two and a half hours of sleep.
The class just needed two parents to volunteer to stay with the kids. So, I volunteered.
WHAT WAS I THINKING??
When I arrived at the school, at midnight, the kids were finished decorating. They had set up their sleeping bags in separate areas and were getting ready for bed.... or not.
It quickly became clear that the girls had no intention of going to sleep.
The teacher spoke firmly to the kids, instructing them to go to sleep by 1:00 am, threatening them and promising rewards, both at the same time
It was not looking good.
As soon as the teacher left, the kids started mucking around.
When I tried to get them to go to sleep, they became rude and obnoxious.
I was stunned by their behavior.
I knew that the boys in my son's class could get wild, but the girls always seemed so sweet.
Well, the boys eventually fell asleep, but the girls were incorrigible.
I began to regret having volunteered.
However, I did volunteer, and I knew what I would have wanted if my daughter was one of the girls.
I did my best... for several hours.
At 3:00 in the morning, I gave up.
Disgusted by their behavior, I left the other parent (the father of one of the girls) to keep watch, and I went to sleep in another room.
I fell asleep around 3:30 and slept until 6:00, when the sound of activity woke me up. I recognized my son's voice in the melee.
The boys must have woken around dawn. I don't think the girls slept at all.
In the morning, I left the girls to their own devices and assisted the boys with whatever they needed.
I realized that I had a rapport with the boys that I did not have with the girls. After all, I knew these boys and they knew me. They were my son's friends. They listened, and were respectful. It was a pleasure to help them.
When my daughter arrived in school, I applied her make up. I took some pictures -- of my son, my daughter, and the girls from my daughter's class.
Then I said my goodbyes and went home to begin my day.
At least I knew that my son slept a few hours.... He might not have, if I was not there. I went to check on him around 1:30 and noticed that he was still up reading. As soon as I admonished him, he closed his book. Later, I noticed he was still not asleep. I suggested that he close his eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. It took him a while, but he fell asleep. I know that my presence made a difference, at least for him.
Ultimately, that is why I was there.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,