Monday, December 9, 2013

A Belated Hanukkah Celebration, and Other Good Things

Our weekend started off with some good news when Kai came home from school Friday afternoon with two certificates from his school. He had been awarded Student of the Week, and received his Safe Month Award for going the entire month of November without a major incident.

The safe months have been few and far between so that was particularly nice. Let’s see if he can put together two in a row for the first time.

We were out of town for Thanksgiving when Hanukkah arrived this year so we had a belated family celebration this weekend.

My wife was busy much of Saturday preparing the brisket, kugel, latkes, and other goodies. Kai and I helped. I fried up some of the latkes and tried to keep up with washing the bowls, pots and pans. Kai helped slice up the mushrooms that were to be sautéed.

Kai was excited, as he usually is when we have family gatherings. But it was nice that he was not overly rambunctious this time.

It was very important to him, thought, that he told everyone the schedule for the evening as soon as they arrived.

He kicked off the evening playing a few songs on the piano. He wanted to get that over with as he was nervous about forgetting his songs if he had to wait until after dinner. He then invited his cousins to play (keyboard and flute).

Next, he helped Mom light the menorah. Yes, we know in reality Hanukkah was over, but we thought it was okay as he really wanted to do it.

Then we had dinner. In the past, Kai would eat quickly and then pester everyone that it was time to open presents. But this year he was surprisingly patient. He still was the first one to finish eating, but he waited nicely while the rest of us continued eating and talking. When all of us had finished our meals, he came over an asked if it was time to open presents. He did not make a fuss when we told him that we wanted to chat a few minutes more.

Of course, he was happy when we finally gave the go-ahead to open presents. But I was pleased that he seemed a bit less frantic and greedy as he did so, and took the time to look at the presents he opened instead of rushing on to rip open the next one.

After that, Kai was on his iPad most of the time playing an app that went with a new game he had gotten. That gave us adults a chance to relax and engage in conversation. For my wife and I, it felt strangely normal, something we were not used to at all.

The next day, we got our first measureable snow of the season. Kai and I took advantage by going sledding.

We have a nice sledding hill nearby, but it has been a few years since we’ve sledded there. The last time we tried, Kai was very scared to go down and it was a traumatic time – for me, at least. Ever since, Kai has always insisted on going to the far smaller hill down the street instead.

But last winter we had told him that it would be the last time we would sled down the baby hill. He was too big for that. So he’s had about nine months to mentally prepare himself to go down the big hill again. But I was still surprised yesterday when he readily agreed without a protest.

It turned out to be perfect conditions for sledding. And I’m not talking about the snow. There was no one else on the hill so we could sled down without worry about running into anyone else.

We went down quite fast, certainly faster than on that old baby hill. It was bumpy but Kai loved it!

We went down several more times, pausing only to catch snowflakes in our mouths.

So, this weekend, we had a boy who wasn’t anxious in a situation that normally makes him so. One who was properly excited but unusually patient in another occasion. And who celebrated a good week and month of school.

All that, and good times with family, too.

Yes, it was a very nice weekend.


  1. The best outdoor moments are often when no one else is around. Better behavior with maturity. Each year will keep getting better.

    1. I was surprised that no one else was on the hill when we arrived. I thought everyone would be eager to take advantage of the first snow.

      Hopefully, Kai will continue his progress.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend, with many more to come. Congratulations, Kai, on the good work at school!

  3. I love these posts...he's improving all the time! yay! Looks like fun...I don't really know that much about Hanukkah so it's all fascinating to me!
    And good for the safe month! I bet it won't be long before he does two in a row!

    1. I didn't know much about Hanukkah either until the past several years.

      So far Kai is on his way to two in a row. With winter break coming up, he has less then two full weeks to go. Hopefully he can do it!


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