Three Weeks of Superheroes?This morning the girls were unusually ill-behaved. This might be the result of a busy Shabbat and a very late night at a Malida (which was beautiful and really special). A solid week of no school could have played a role. And fasting/unwell parents might not be very patient.
The point of the fast of the 17th of Tammuz is definitely not to be irritable and frustrated with your children, but their behavior was the perfect springboard into the topic of the three weeks. This time of great sadness and mourning would be meaningless if it were not a time for self-reflection and efforts at self-improvement.
First I explained to the girls the five events which occurred today, and the forthcoming time of sadness, caution, and auspiciousness. When I described the events, Cohava got excited and said, "And Moshe had the tablets and then he saw the red cow or gold cow, or just cow and he got veeeeerry cross! And he bashed them!!!" Gabi wanted to know more about the idol in the Temple. "What did it look like?"
Then we talked about why all of these bad things happened and how the people weren't being good. "But we weren't even there. We weren't even born yet! It's not fair!" Cohava argued.
"True," I agreed. "But did we learn from them? Are we being as good as we can be now?" Cohava and Gabi both hung their heads and shook them.
"Sometimes you guys are Good. Sometimes you are Bad," I continued. This is a duality that Cohava coined some time ago. At times she claims that Good Cohava is on holiday and only Bad will be around for the rest of the afternoon. Bad spends time by herself until Good comes back. "But what about Super? Are you ever Super?"
"Sometimes I am Super for a little while," Cohava declared modestly.
"Well, the three weeks is the time where we need to be as Super as we can be. As a family we are going to make a list of what each person needs to do to work on being super." Quickly, lists did materialize for each one of us.
"What about Ruti?" I asked.
"I think she is Super right now," replied Cohava.
"Even if we wrote the list, she wouldn't understand. Stop putting my toys in your mouth, Ruti!" Gabi reasoned.
Soon our lists were made, printed, and decorated.
"Do you know what superheroes are?"
"The boys in my class know," Cohava shared.
"Spiderman is a superhero. Seth told me," Gabi added.
"Superheroes work to make the world a better place," I explained.
"Tikkun olam!" Cohava shouted, pleased to use one of her new words.
"Yes, superheroes do Tikkun Olam. And they often wear clothes that are a little different than normal people. They often wear capes. If we are going to be Super, we might need some capes," I said, revealing today's project.
The girl's chose a colour of fabric (I have crushed velour in a lot of colors from a fabric sale when I had high ambitions for lots of sewing) and cut a section for them. We covered the table in newspaper, followed by sequence, permanent markers, ribbon, scrap material, kiddie scissors and fabric glue.
The girls worked hard and were very pleased with their results.
"The capes need to dry tonight."
"Can we wear them tomorrow?" asked Gabi, excitedly.
"Only if you are going to be Super. You need to be working on the things on your list. Otherwise you are not a Superhero in the Three Weeks!"