I feel like there hasn't been much going on lately, since we've had some sick kids and now parents. But the truth is that I never filled you in about Tu B'Shvat.
Tu B'shvat is the birthday of the trees. It's when things (for the most part) begin to bloom again here in Israel, and as crazy as it sounds, Tu B'shvat heralds the beginning of Spring. (Winter? What Winter?)
The kids had various ulpan and school activities which were very nice. The boys' party stood out a little more as it was a full 2 hours of program: kids singing, a play, then an "Al Ha'Michya" project, and finally...planting. I didn't make it until the end (or even the middle for that matter) and dashed out with Crazy Red after the first hour. I was there though for the principal's speech, and am more enamored with him every time he speaks. How can you NOT love someone who refers to our children as "tzadikim k'tanim" (little righteous ones) or "n'shamot tehorot" (holy souls)?
The walk home from that program was beautiful; the sun is shining again, the birds are chirping, it was a gorgeous day. I decided to stop off at R's Gan to see if they had left for their Tu B'shvat tiyul yet, and made it just in time to walk with them to the mountain where they were going on a hike to "find" trees, and do some planting. The whole time I was with them they were singing "Tu B'shvat heegiyah".
For years I taught American kids about Tu B'shvat, but it's really hard to get them to internalize the fact that in some parts of the world, it is actually warm and bright and sunny, and things are beginning to grow anew. It was so nice this year to actually be here where it's all happening.
So, while the kids say they miss the snow, I don't. Nor do I miss the boots, coats, hats and gloves taking over my house. Or the slush and mud everywhere once the snow starts. I don't miss shoveling out on the freezing old mornings before the sun was even up, or the ice in the driveway and on the street. Or...my favorite: fighting with the kids and BAW to take out the garbage. Maybe I don't miss that cuz we still fight about that, but hey, some things gotta stay the same, right?