Tripping Through Life (with Dr. Seuss*)

The fine-toothed comb of Time marches

Through the scalp of Life

I knew it. I knew it. I knew that by coming here and taking care of my three rambunctious grandkids I would be entering a time machine and going back in time. And it's happened! Despite my arthritis, nasty knees, lower back pain and fatitude (just coined a new word; you like it?), I am growing backwards into childhood, or rather into being a (younger-like) parent, complete with lacking sleep and not having time to shower for days(don't get too close) caring for three kids under nine.
I'd forgotten what it's like: getting kids UP in the morning, getting them washed and dressed (they can do some or most of it themselves, except for the one with the cast on her right arm...) and fed, getting the bathing suits on and slathering them up with sunscreen and putting the change-of-clothes and towels in the backpack and making sure their lunchboxes are also in and that everything is LABELED with their names on it.

And making breakfast every morning (No, I want EGGS and GRITS I don't want cereal) and contending with the "I want to play first" or the "I don't want to get dressed" or the HE'S COPYING ME or SHE STUCK HER TONGUE OUT AT ME tell her to STOP it or I DON'T LIKE THAT CHEESE SANDWICH FOR LUNCH I WANT MEATBALLS AND PUSGETTI etc., etc.

And then, off to camp! Late, almost every morning (our faults: 'we haven't gotten it down pat yet,' 'lack of sleep, gettin' older,' 'no energy'--you know the excuses). Then after drop-off, running home to either 1) walk the dog (chihuahua. cute. fits in pocket. attacks squirrels and large animals), 2) wash dishes and clean-up kitchen, and 3) run around house picking up after whirlwind of morning prep with p.j.s and various pieces of clothing all over the floors, 4) make sure we turned on light and fed MONSTRO the WHALE (the goldfish) and make sure the ELEPHANT named TWEETIE-BIRD has food and water (the chihuahua. Get it?)

And when we pick them up from camp, it's the same thing in reverse, not necessarily in this order: 1) supper 2) therapies 3) baths 4) bedtime

But somewhere in between, there are wonderful brachot over the food (the kids love saying brachot), Shabbat--which was the best day of the week, with delicious meals we (mainly my husband) prepared, my grandson (with Down Syndrome) standing with his Saba and copying him making kiddush, washing for hamotzi and enjoying the specialness of the day, walking to shul in the morning all dressed up, having a cholent kiddush after davening (it was the yummiest I've had in a long while, loaded with meat), and coming home to another yummy seudah sheniyah, singing zmirot and playing board games later; it was a relaxed, special day.
The only damper was that we did not get to nap; by the end of the day, I was exhausted.

The entire day we were stuck in the house--so we couldn't swim in our pool and we couldn't visit the neighbors with the 10 kids who have chickens in their backyard--because since we arrived, the weather barely varied: it rained and thunderstormed every day for a week, including Shabbat. We were lucky there was a lull so that we could walk to shul and back, but that was it! Talk about cabin fever. . .(but it was still a great day!)

But all the discussions I've had, especially with my 6 year-old granddaughter about what she likes to play, and friends, and satellites ('what are they?'), and Benjamin Franklin and electricity, and learning to be ambidextrous-she is using her left hand for everything, and as a result of her cast, stopped sucking her thumb-and learning to say that word and what it means--and about life in general--and all the stories I've read to all the kids, and the songs I've sung (numi numi, lailah lailah, and saying the 'shema' and 'ha-mal'ach' with the three kids every night)--Priceless.

I fear this trip is going to end all too soon; but until it does, although-

The dull, blunt needle of Time

Sews another button on a sadly worn pair of underdrawers,


I still climb Mount Everest just as often as I used to. I play polo just as often as I used to. But to walk down to the hardware store I find a little bit more difficult.


You're in pretty good shape
for the shape you are in!

(*all quotes from Suess-isms by Dr. Seuss's widow, Audrey Geisel)


Norma said…
Great post! Sounds like fun, and good exercise.
rickismom said…
I have read your blog occaisionally, from contributions to hevel hevelim. I've always wondered about where you live (because of the "mountain time"). A big part of my heart is in the Rockies. I became frum from reailizing that there MUST be someone who "made all this" when struck by the awesomeness of the views I saw as a child visiting the rockies with my parents. And today my mother lives in Estes Park.
Now I see that besides mountain time, we have something else in common. I have a 14 year old daughter with Down s. Hope you are enjoying your grandkids!(One good thing about watching grandkids is that it is usually short-term! (So you rest up afterwards....)
Anonymous said…
I love this post, it's awesomely awesome and deeper than a freshly picked nostril... ummm. What I mean is that this is truly an insightful and heartfelt post, more than any of your others thus far. I can see you smiling and laughing while writing this, and I hope you and Abba are having the time of your lives!
Don't let the bad stuff there get to you and cherish the good until the moment you leave and afterward as well. Keep the "sichsuchim" with my big sis to a minimum, and have fun with my nieces and nephew!

This post made me smile first thing in the morning!

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lady-Light said…
Norma: First, thank you for the compliment; it IS fun (translation: very hard work!) I can really appreciate what my daughter goes through, on a daily basis. She is incredible!
Rickismom: Aha...where I live is a STATE SECRET (which state, you ask? Not telling. But we love to visit Estes Park occasionally...)
I am enjoying them; I'm just too old for the hard part (i.e., raising them); after this visit, I really do not know when we will see them again, as we are still unemployed, and no more free tickets are on the horizon...
My oldest grandson (9) with Down Syndrome is the BEST. Love and success to your daughter, as well!
N.B.: Deeper than a a what?! (-did I raise you to write metaphors like that one? I failed as a parent...!)
No sichsuchim--no problem--we are getting along very well (well, she IS outa town, heheh...)
Meanwhile, I love you and miss you: are you online? Can we video chat while your son is race-crawling around the house??
Tali said…
oh ****! I have to do that all year!

I found a mistake in this post though. Bringing the kids late to camp is not becuase you are older. You used to bring us late to school every day when we were little! Remember? So really not much has changed! Guess your underdrawers are not so sadly worn after all! (phew).

Love you Eeeeeemis!!

Oh and Nati, nothing is as deep as YOUR freshly picked nostril.

(Only two exams left till I finish college!! Wish me luck!)
Lady-Light said…
Hey, Toodles--thanks for commenting! No comment on your memories, though (I plea the 5th).
Hatzlachah on your last two exams-- can you believe it?!

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