There are only six weeks left of kinder for Evie. When she returns to Bialik in February, it will be wearing a new school uniform, carrying a bag almost bigger than herself, packed with school lunch, pens and books; and so her formal school education will begin.
There is a lot of change happening for my not-so-little-anymore fairy. Evie’s kinder teacher has assured me that the regular occurring temper tantrums (yes, the kind that could shatter glass) are quite normal during this time of change. Evie is about turn five, about to finish kinder and about to learn and develop in ways that, as a parent, I cannot yet comprehend.
During times of change, there are some things in life that remain constant. Shabbat is one of these. Whilst our family do not necessarily embrace the slowness of Shabbat as much as I would like, we have instilled some family traditions that provide a sense of much-needed calmness during the hectic pace of the rest of the week. We light Shabbat candles and sing a favourite Shabbat song with the kids. We often bake challah and always try to eat together as a family, which does not always happen during the rest of the week.
This week Evie brought home the Shabbat Box from kinder. She set the table, we lit the candles, drank wine (ok, grape juice for the kids), ate challah and together we read the Shabbat box story. Whilst we usually slow down at least a fraction come Shabbat evening, this Friday night there was something extra. I am not quite sure what it was, but when I read this poem by William Davies in the Jewish News, it resonated with our family Shabbat and the Shabbat Box.
What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep or cows,
No time to see in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night,
A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.