Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life Lessons and Celebrations

Everyday is an opportunity to teach my kids some important life lessons. There is always something I am yammering about, driving messages home, and hoping that just a fraction of my good intentions stick. These kids need to learn compassion, empathy and kindness NOW, and believe me, it is not something they just instinctively know!

Last year, they learned about doing good deeds, which in Hebrew is mitzvot. This is one of the benefits of the Jewish education. Paying it forward, doing the right things, and showing support of those who need it, are life lessons that I too try to drill into their brains. I have proof that they understand this concept.

The proof came yesterday when we went to the NICU at Ohio State. As we do every year on the trio's birthday, we took treats to the nurses. As we dropped off the cookies and said hello to our NICU staff, the kids really got the opportunity to talk with Dr. Cordero and the nurses. This was the first visit where the kids engaged them in dialogue. Normally they run around all willy nilly and act like goons showing off and creating a scene in the hallway outside the sleeping preemies.

While we took the annual photos,
one of Eli's intake nurses started a deep and meaningful conversation with him. I could see him listening to her every word as she said, "Seeing you guys all big and strong makes us know that the work we do is important. We really appreciate your visits because it shows us that our jobs are helping people- when you were born no one knew how you would turn out, and now that we can see it with our own eyes, it proves that we did a good job back when you were this small (pointing to a baby)and fragile. Thank you for making us feel special."

As we rode the elevator down, Eli said, "Mom, we need to feed the nurses every year because it is a mitzvah. They appreciate us and we appreciate them because the work they do is very impressive. Hashem watches over them and they watched over us."

I was silent. His words and expressions let me know that he completely gets it. The lesson is not lost on Rabbi Eli. His sensitivity astounds me.

The big time 7 year celebration continued into the evening. The kids had dinner at BD Mongolian BBQ. We take full advantage of the kids eat for 99 cents specials. The big hit of the evening were the tin foil, custom made hats
in honor of the birthday celebration. This was an unexpected surprise. The adorable factor was not lost on my children.

Paige prepared a beautiful gluten free cake to complete the meal.
There wasn't any fighting for the frosting roses, since she topped the cake with chocolate dipped fresh strawberries. Being a dye free home has advantages you know- this is one of them.

When we look back at the 7-7-7 birthday celebration- there's more than just the smiling faces. There are life long lessons learned.

1 comment:

instant student said...

Happy Birthday Natalie, CJ and Eli!
And what an awesome cake!
I love that you keep taking them back to the NICE.
I think everybody involved benefits from those visits!

The older crowd

The older crowd
Amanda and Mitchell

A blast from the past...makes it all so real now