This was our Rosh Hashana: first we were at services and they were the best services we'd been to in 14 years. I don't mean that anything had changed about them to make them new and improved, I mean that it was the first time in 14 years that Husband and I were actually able to stay at services as long as we wanted, without kids' tantrums, nap times, hunger, diapers, ennui, or something else deterring us from our goal.
It wasn't that the kids were thrilled about being there, or that I didn't hear plenty of their complaints about hunger and boredom. It's just that now they're old enough now that I can ignore them. Anyway, they were pretty quiet about their rebellion. We walked in, sat down, and all four of us picked up prayer books. Husband and I, however, were following along with the Rabbi, but our kids found the page we were on and then located the page we'd have to get to, then they counted the pages in between - 89 - and held them separately, watching them diminish over five hours.
After services ended, we had a little rest at home and then we went off to my extended family's Rosh Hashana party. This was a potluck like every other potluck my family has; the only thing that differentiated this one from the parties is that there was a plate with apples cut up on it in the middle of the buffet.
As the evening wound on, I found myself smashed into one of my niece's two couches, so close to the person smashed in next to me that I was actually having a conversation with his pores, when there was a sudden tumult over at the powder room. News filtered toward me: Bar Mitzvahzilla had been hurt in a game of tackle football outside. I kind of hovered on the seat, wondering if it required getting up or not. I've been fooled before. Could I supervise the injury from my coveted spot? Was Husband nearby so he could handle this?
Then I heard the words "cut" and "teeth" and Bar Mitzvahzilla's name again and I knew it was no use - I had to get up. I am the mom, after all. So I up and went over to the bathroom, took one look at the 2 inch long jagged cut on his chin, and I knew my lovely evening was over. Or at least, that the rest of it would be spent in the ER.
Bar Mitzvahzilla might be the size of a man and he might have the voice of a man, but right at that moment he was about 4-years-old again. He didn't care about any stupid, possibly-infected cut on his face! He only wanted to go back outside and play more football, apparently until someone gouged one of his eyes out. He said, "MOM! I'm okay!" But I gave him the look that brooks no refusals. I had assessed the injury. It needed stitches.
By 11:30 at night, we were walking out of the ER. By then Bar Mitzvahzilla had 14 stitches in his face and, if he grimaced just right, with the scar and the two fangs that have grown into the middle of his gum line he looked pretty horrifying. Of course, he was thrilled. If he could only grow something else - horns or claws - life would be perfect.
On our way home he showed a tiny bit of remorse. He said, "Oh shoot! Tuesday's picture day."