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Surfer Girl Celebrates Purim in Weston

Four-year-old Sophia (she’s almost five) demands a bathing suit. She’s seen a catalogue we’ve gotten in the mail. She wants the two-piece pink one with the flowers, but informs us graciously that she’ll accept another color if pink can’t be had. It must be bought today, in fact, right now – when we’re late to school.

The bathing suit has topped her list of “must-haves” for a few days now. It alternates with water shoes and sleeping in her mommy’s bed – with the lights on. We don’t have time for Wal-Mart on the way to school, I let her know, but if she’s good and doesn’t pester her father to buy her everything in sight, he might agree to take her after school. And he did.

On Saturday (day two of two-piece ownership), Sophia wears her bathing suit to synagogue. She wears it underneath her other clothes, in case it’s hot at services -- as if she might prance around the synagogue in her bikini. The good news is the service is for families with children and the theme is Purim .

Purim -- which some have called a kind of “Jewish Mardi Gras” -- is a holiday on which bizarre dress and behavior are encouraged, which means the bathing suit is “in.” Most of the other kids have come equipped with silly headgear, so we improvise and add my furry earmuffs to Sophia’s outfit.

It dawns on me (with some relief, being a costume-challenged kind of parent) that we’re all outfitted for Purim proper -- which begins Saturday night – except for some final touches that require a quick trip back home. Yet, we do make one stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up apricot preserves, butter and orange juice.

Once home, I alternate between making a cardboard surfboard (yellow sand and blue ocean attached) and creaming butter, which has not had time to soften yet. Sophia’s urgency has now spread to her brother, Josh, who’s seven and is in dire need of hamentashen – fruit-filled Purim cookies that are shaped like triangles.

Once Sophia has located sunglasses and sun-tan “potion,” she spreads out her beach blanket on the kitchen floor, shows us her surfer moves, and suns herself by the pre-heating oven, while Josh runs to get le CD juste -- The Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl.”

Amanda Geffner is a writer and psychotherapist living in Weston. Email her at Amamike123@aol.com .

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