Skip to main content

Shlepping with Daddy – Part 1 of 2

This is the first of two semi-related essays.  Read them or not… I know they are longer and denser than my usual fare.  Read part two here.

My father hauled us places against our will:  I hated it, deeply, deeply. 

He took us to lectures, concerts, operas, Shakespeare, and good old-fashioned SHLEPS through nature, on skis or on foot or canoe, nothing but a chilly thermos of “vasser mit milich” (basically, tea without the tea) for comfort.

Why did I hate it?  And why did he seem at once mystified and nonplussed (or even bemused) by my hatred?  Why didn’t he give up, just kept right on shlepping us places?

To share the things he held most dear.

I know now, as a parent – at once – of little children and of teenagers, that I didn’t always hate it, though it’s fixed that way in my memory.  That’s because my early memories are gone; memories from the years when I must have loved it all so much. 

How do I know that?  Because I saw my sisters loving it, even during the years when I was a cynical, family-hating teenager.  Because I see my younger kids loving it.  They love the attention, the thrill of an outing; any outing.  Doing something special with Mommy or Abba – what could be finer?  They would probably even love the vasser mit milich.

I only hated the shlepping (only!) during the twelve-year-period between becoming bas mitzvah and having my first child.  That’s when I turned around and started doing for them what my father had done for me (or letting HIM do it for my kids!). 

That’s when I started shlepping.

Sometimes, I look at my older kids mocking me, my outings, my good intentions, free concerts, dance recitals in public parks, cultural expeditions of all kinds.  If they are anything like me, they are embarrassed, cringing to be seen with me and hoping above hope that I won’t do – well, whatever it is that they dread, which I cannot possibly know so I will doubtless do it anyway.

They hate the bemused way I look at them.  They hate that I see the little kids that they once were, and the fun they once would have had where now they walk around scowling and miserable, spoiling everything – or trying to. 

I try not to give up on them.  I try to keep the channels open, keep on shlepping, even as their scorn makes every outing more difficult, emotionally, than any outing with toddlers. 

I can smile, thinking of the daughter I was able to become once again with my father once my own children smoothed the way back.  I can smile, knowing I may yet get my kids back … and enjoy them all the more for what we’ve come through together.

So to somewhat segue back to where this essay spun off from - how does my father’s shlepping affect the way I homeschool?  That’s coming up in the next post.

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok