Feed on


Giddy-Up SimonLast year Simon had a great time at my family’s Chanukah parties. Thanks to pretty lights, his cousins, mandel bread, things that spun, and things that were shiny, he had much to entertain him.

Which isn’t necessarily to say he understood anything about what was going on. He was one, so it was a bit premature to start explaining things like the Hasmonean and Seleucid dynasties, temple revolts, or the significance of the Menorah. Heck, he didn’t realize that Chanukah gelt was chocolate beneath the shiny gold wrapper or that all the pretty boxes lying around were supposed to be unwrapped and opened.

I had expected only a slight increase in understanding this year, but once again-thanks to preschool-Simon is way ahead of where I expected him to be. This Wednesday KIP had its annual holiday party, an event featuring school-wide games, music, treats, and a gift exchange. Based on the global Itsy-Bitsy freak-out I witnessed at Halloween, I assumed the day’s events would be a party for those aged three and up and more of an ordeal for the younger set.

You know what they say about assuming… When I arrived at KIP to pick Simon up after lunch, I was immediately greeting by Ms. Inessa, the music teacher, who regaled me with an account of Simon jumping and dancing and squealing while she sang and played piano for the children. I get the distinct impression that Simon is either more animated than most of the children during music time, or that he is a particular favorite of Ms. Inessa. Of course, the one could certainly explain the other, so maybe both are true.

When I got to his room, Ms. Laura and Ms. Jean were suiting him up to come home, and Simon was yammering away happily. I couldn’t tell what he was trying to tell me, but the yammering got even more animated when I asked him about the electronic, giddy-up pony that was attached to his back-pack. Then he squeezed the pony’s ear so I could hear the whinnying, the neighing, and the snuffling the electronic, giddy-up pony makes when activated. His whole face lit up. Thank you Baron, and thank you and Baron’s parents! The teachers were concerned that the noise would get to me, but how can I resent anything that makes him so happy? I’ll save my annoyance for screaming.

Once we got home, Simon wanted to watch me spin a dreidel. It’s funny how such a simple toy can be such a delight to a small child. Then I asked, I assumed rhetorically, whether he wanted to open the present in his backpack that came from his teachers. I was getting ready to pick it up when Simon ran over, made it clear that he understood what “present” meant, brought it over to me, plopped down in my lap, and started picking at the paper corners.

We may have had to open Simon’s birthday presents for him two months ago, but it looks like he has got the concept down in time for Chanukah and Christmas.

In fact, he’s been so animated by all the trappings of holidays-the songs, the treats, the decorations, the toys, etc.-that I think he is going to have the time of his life at Chanukah and Christmas this year. All five times.

That’s right, we’ve got Chanukah with Bubbie, Chanukah with friends, Christmas Eve at our house, Christmas day at Jim and Evie’s, and Chanukah with Zadie coming in the next eight days. I’m cooking for one, grating potatoes and making applesauce for two, bringing an unknown item to one and-sorry Evie!-sitting on my tush for one. I’m tired just thinking about it all. But if it had to happen, I’m glad it’s happening in a year when holiday cheer is new and exciting for Simon, and not when he was too young to understand it or too jaded to care. His enthusiasm might just be what buoys me.

Happy Chanukah!

One Response to “HAN-kah!”

  1. blg says:

    Not really a commne ton this post, but blog I think you will enjoy.

    It was a post from last week that reminded me of the blog and made me think of you: something about “Do People really Hate my Kids?”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.