Four-year-old Sophia (shes almost five) demands a bathing suit. Shes seen a catalogue weve gotten in the mail. She wants the two-piece pink one with the flowers, but informs us graciously that shell accept another color if pink cant be had. It must be bought today, in fact, right now when were 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 mommys bed with the lights on. We dont have time for Wal-Mart on the way to school, I let her know, but if shes good and doesnt 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 its 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 Sophias outfit.
It dawns on me (with some relief, being a costume-challenged kind of parent) that were 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 Joes 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. Sophias urgency has now spread to her brother, Josh, whos 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 .
How do you celebrate Purim?
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