Listening to the Voices

Color is so subtle but powerful. The impact of bright tones, of jewel hues, on the unconscious, on the unaware, it’s profound. A sliver of orange with red, a vibrant yellow, or a muted gray tone – each inspires a mood yet to be determined.

What were the colors of my weekend? A veritable rainbow from darkest to vibrant bright and back to dark. I tossed in sleep last night without true rest. Dreamt of the alarm not going off and being late to get the kids to school.

This morning, because of the clock change, it is still dark. The children are asleep at 7:09 but then they did not fall asleep until so so late last night. All the hype from a birthday party, running in the black-light room for two games of laser tag. Sophie’s tooth fell out at the party, her mouth brimming with new blood. Shaya scrunched his nose in disgust. She put her tooth in a plastic bag for the tooth fairy to come and went on about the games.

I’ve known since childhood that when I listen to my instincts, I will do well. Sometimes, still, I forget to listen to that profound small voice, though. It was a weekend of Polish-wedding-style family celebration and I knew when the invitations came that I should have said yes to one and no to another. But I let myself get pulled in to the pressure of togetherness, of insecurities wrapped in balloons and trendy coats, thinking this time would be different.

It never is, of course.

But the birthday party was worth it. There, the personality troubles were marginalized since I only had eyes for my three priceless jewels, my children. Eliana won 500 tickets at arcade games which she traded in for Bratz hair extensions to wear to school today. Asher’s team won two games of laser tag. The kids from his class all beamed with glee when they shot me and I let them. I kept shooting my sister, just so we could laugh together.

And Shaya traipsed through the arcade games at 2-year-old pace, with people who love him, not caring about tickets or winning or anything really. I’m tempted to buy an air hockey game for the basement.

Last night, we opened presents together and the children bathed neck-high in warm, soapy water to wash away the weekend’s grit. Tonight, there is a carnival at the synagogue and a story we’ve heard before. You know, there are no new stories. There never are. Just new ways of telling them.

On Passover, it is written in the Haggadah that we retell the story of our exodus out of Egyptian slavery for our children. It is all for the children, our tradition tells us. And the children, they are for us. For us to remember and to listen and to feel and to learn, to truly learn.

There are no new stories. Just new ways of telling them.

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