Tomorrow is the Jerusalem Marathon. The city has been getting ready all week and there is a feeling of excitement in the air that has made this such a fun week. The Full Marathon is going to be running right by our apartment so our street is filled with blue barriers for the crowds to stand behind and there are signs along the street directing the runners. The Jerusalem Marathon is listed as one of the top 10 marathons in the world. I’ve never run a marathon but when I do (it’s definitely on my life to-do list), this seems like a pretty cool one to run. Runners literally run through thousands of years of history, including the Old City of Jerusalem. The views are breathtaking. Watching the preparations for the marathon makes me feel really lucky to be living here in Jerusalem. It’s not New York, but I would absolutely say that it is one of the most cultured and happening cities I’ve visited in the world. Whenever my travel bug starts itching, I try to remind myself that where I live is pretty awesome too. So awesome that thousands (millions?) come here to visit every year. In honor of the marathon, all of the main streets in Jerusalem are closed and Eden’s daycare is cancelled. We have no plans to get into our car tomorrow and are looking forward to heading out to the streets to cheer on the runners. I find them so inspiring. They have determination and endurance written all over their faces. Plus we have a few friends running. With the whole city basically shut down in honor of the marathon, it feels almost like a holiday. Excited for a fun family Friday!
There were lonnng lines at the supermarket today. As I waited patiently, the cashier began conversing with the customer she was ringing up. More than just polite conversation, a real nice and long lengthy conversation. A conversation between friends. Which while very sweet, meant that it was taking her way longer than it should have to ring up the woman’s groceries. And there was a whole line of people waiting in line. The guy in front of me didn’t seem bothered by this whole thing. But me, I wanted to open up my mouth and very matter-of-factly explain to the cashier that her sweet conversation was really inconveniencing all the other customers in line, and well, could she please hurry things up. And then I thought of Binny. Binny would never, not in a 100 years ever, say something like that to anyone. The thought would never even cross his mind in the first place. So I took a chocolate bar from the rack always so conveniently placed by the cashier so that people like me can eat them while we wait in line. I munched and tried to practice my patience. Halfway through my chocolate bar, the cashier’s conversation was still going. And going. And I really really wanted to just say something to her. In my head, I thought of 10 different ways I could tell her that her chat was not really very considerate of all of us waiting in line. Then I thought of Binny. And I thought about what I would feel like if I were the one sitting in the cashier’s seat. These short interactions with customers would probably be the highlight of my day. Especially on beautiful days like today when it must be so frustrating to be sitting indoors when there is so much sunshine and beauty only a few skips away, out those electric doors. Who am I to deprive a nice lady of her happiness? But this conversation wasn’t ending, and patience is something that does not come naturally to me. By some miracle, i managed to keep my mouth closed and in a few minutes (that seemed like an eternity to me as I waged an inner battle with myself), it was my turn in line and the cashier was just as sweet to me as she had been to the people in line before me. And again, my inner evil wanted to make some quip about how long I had been waiting in line. But I didn’t. I thought to myself how lucky and blessed I am to be married to a man who inspires me to be a better person at the supermarket and everyday of our lives together. I couldn’t ask for a greater gift or for a more perfect partner in life.
There are many values and traits that I hope to teach Eden through my actions. At this stage, Eden seems to be both a parrot and a sponge in equal parts. She loves repeating what we say- I think she is reviewing sentence structures and new words in head (yes, I think my child is a genius)- and she just seems to absorb everything so quickly, remembering tiny details from her books and from our daily routine that I barely notice. We work on things like sharing and patience and taking turns. I also try to emphasize the importance of caring for others, and looking out for their needs. I don’t think it’s been a conscious effort (there are probably a gazillion and one books I could/should read on the topic), but something that is just part of everyday life here in our little home. And it is awe-inspiring how little 2 year old Eden already seems like the most empathetic and caring person- I think she takes after her dad.
Last week we saw a man cutting down parts of a tree and I told Eden that it was a little bit sad, but it was okay because the tree would grow new branches. She repeated this line to me several times a day everyday for the following week until it became a household joke- “the man is cutting down the tree. It’s very sad.” “Yes, Eden it’s very sad, but it’s ok because the tree will grow back.” Yesterday when she saw her friend get hurt, she ran to get him his pacifier and gave him a big hug. Today she held her dolls tight and told them over and over (and over and over and over and over) again that “it’s okay.” She seems so attuned to my own feelings and comes to give me hugs when she sees that I am a bit sad. How amazing are these little people? How am I so blessed to have such an empathetic and bright little girl? At some point everyday I just find myself staring at her in wonder, trying to grasp the reality that she is actually mine. That she grew inside my body and that I gave birth to her a little over 2 years ago. And it is the most awesome thing in my universe.
And since I forgot to post them before, a few pictures of my superstar from her birthday party (Eden is still singing happy birthday to herself on a daily basis)
Really want that scratch on her nose to heal already!! Any tips on how to get toddlers not to pick scabs?? We’ve tried absolutely everything!
And this is the birthday cake that Eden I baked together for her party! My first-ever attempt at anything Martha Stewart.
“Good things come to those who wait.”
This has got to be one of my all-time favorite quotes. I write it for myself everywhere. On a post-it on the fridge, in my day-planner, on my computer desktop. It’s like I can’t remind myself often enough that I just need to have a little faith.
I think I love this quote so much because it has rung so true in my own life. At every stage. Whether it be finding my soulmate, the right apartment, the right job, having a baby, or even silly mundane things like pretty bed sheets. Everything I needed (ok, I may not have needed the bedsheets if you ask Binny. But you know.) eventually found its way into my life. Often there was hard word and effort on my part along the way. But with my efforts, I also needed to practice my patience.
My biggest opportunities to work on my patience every single day- whether I want to or not- are with Eden. Man, how that girl tests me. And I am working on it. Every day. Reminding myself that there is an end to every tantrum. Usually accompanied by the sweetest smile as if to say “I can’t imagine why on earth you are upset, mama!”. Oh, baby girl.
Daily reminder to myself to be patient. Check.
Image source unknown
Words of wisdom and comfort from Binny: We are always working on different things, but we both know that we are on the right path; we’re headed in the right direction.
Sometimes life can be overwhelming. And I feel under-qualified or not competent enough. Especially when it comes to parenting. I still remember that terrified feeling of walking out of the hospital with a newborn baby in my arms, waiting for someone to stop me and say “Wait! You can’t take that baby home! You have no idea how to care for a newborn!”. But somehow we figured it out.
There are LOTS of imperfect and seemingly disasterous moments along the way. When I look at Eden, though, I see a gloriously happy, thriving and radiant child. I don’t see any of the mistakes. Because it is overwhelmed by the love. And the happiness that she brings to my life.
In parenting, and in every part of life, knowing that I am trying my best and that I am headed in the right direction helps me feel better about all the mistakes along the way. I learn from the mistakes and keep moving forward.
I am on the right path.