Yesterday someone asked me how I find time to write so often. Funny how others can look at the same situation completely differently than me – I feel like I hardly am able to find time to write! It was good to be reminded that there are always two ways to view a situation and that I can choose a more positive interpretation.
It’s a busy, busy season of life right now!
First of all, the wedding! Less than a week to go with a list of things still to do, but it’s all getting done calmly and without stress. After seeing friends whose tension level was seriously racheted up when their children were engaged, my goal for this engagement period was to be emotionally present, calm, and to enjoy the joy of this time. Thankfully that has been the reality and we are so grateful and excited as we prepare for our first wedding. So often I’ve wondered who our children will marry, and it’s beautiful to see how perfectly our daugher-in-love complements ds23; they are a lovely couple!
Ds18 will be graduating soon, and has spent the last few months considering his post high school plans. Since he’s in a yeshiva high school (that includes a full secular curriculum versus yeshiva ketana where no secular subjects are taught) people say it makes it harder (and even impossible) to get into the selective post high school yeshiva he’s interested in, but I don’t believe that these kind of things need to be issues – yes, it sets the bar to jump over higher but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
He went to visit several yeshivas and it was clear to him that this particular yeshiva was the best fit for him. But they didn’t get back to him quickly about setting up an interview and it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. (They extensively check out the student before inviting them to interview.) It was very exciting when he was invited to test there – they’ve never interviewed a student from his high school and it was significant to be invited. The interview seemed to go well but he was told there was more testing to follow.
I was in the supermarket two days ago when he called. When he told me he was accepted, I got choked up and couldn’t respond. After a minute of silence and no sound on my part he was sure I didn’t hear what he said. “Mommy, did you hear what I said? I was accepted to ‘Blank’ Yeshiva!”
I managed to get out a congratulations through teary eyes. It’s a huge accomplishment and it happened because of the person he’s built himself into and the efforts he’s made day after day. Oh, my, so much emotion. I’d better get some bulletproof makeup for the wedding.
Dd16 has been considering her plans for the coming year, and last week told me she’d like to go to seminary next year. While it’s not something we had talked about previously, I completely support her and told her it sounded like it could be a very good choice for her. She has a specific seminary in mind, and called them two days ago for an application – and was told that day was the deadline! She sent it in and went to visit and sat in classes yesterday, which she very much enjoyed. She needs to interview there and it’s preferred that parents come, but I simply can’t go to an interview with her until after the wedding. They have hesitations about accepting a student her age so we’ll see how that goes.
Since Rafael joined the family three months ago, I’ve been busy working my way through a list of medical appointments for him. Yesterday I spent hours in Jerusalem at a hospital having his hearing tested. It was a very unpleasant test for him and he screamed for 45 minutes before falling asleep when his response to sound stimulation could finally be monitored, but I was very grateful to learn that his hearing is good!
Another project that has taken ongoing effort is getting mother’s milk for him. I am so grateful to the many women who have donated to him! He was obviously reacting badly to dairy formula when in the hospital and mother’s milk has been very important in building up his immune system. He’s been almost exclusively on mother’s milk for the last 14 weeks, which is a huge amount of donor milk that we’ve had to get. For the times that we’ve run out, we’re fortunate that our pediatrician generously gave us sample boxes of a hypoallergenic formula. I’m in the process of having him officially approved for a different formula (since he’s reacting even to the hypoallergenic formula he’s been getting) and once that happens we’ll be able to purchase it ourselves; hopefully that will be completed this week.
I’ve also been in the process of getting Rafael evaluated for early child development services. My experience in Karmiel with this for Yirmi wasn’t pleasant and I was dreading going through this process again. Just reading through paperwork for Yirmi (which I needed because we are opening a new file for him here and they needed it) gave me a sick feeling in my stomach.
The meeting with the physical therapist and social worker was very pleasant, completely different than my past experience. The physical therapist said Rafael’s development is impressive and that it’s obvious that we’ve been working with him. Yes, we do invest time and effort into supporting his development but in line with my educational approach, it’s integrated into daily living rather than therapies that we stop our lives to do. Rafael is delicious and we just love him to pieces!
Can you believe Yirmi will be turning five soon!? He’s doing wonderfully and I’ll update on him closer to his birthday. We’ve been given an appointment with a developmental doctor so he can be evaluated comprehensively as part of the process to get speech therapy services. Since he has apraxia, a clear and obvious speech delay, I hope services will be easily approved. We’ve worked on his speech extensively at home and it’s exciting to see how beautifully it’s coming along. He’s such a cute and smart little guy!
We are in the middle of birthday season here. We started the season with ds11 in April, followed by ds8 and then dh in May. Ds14 will have a birthday the day after the wedding, then Yirmi two weeks later opens July, ds23 two days after that, dd20 a month later and now our lovely daughter-in-love joins the birthday line-up for August!
Everyone is growing up so quickly! Time seems to speed up more as the years go by. As I feel the days flying by I have such a strong desire to be emotionally present for every moment (which isn’t possible but it’s a direction to shoot for!). Life is so full and it’s easy to get caught up in what needs to be done on a daily basis, so it’s really a conscious choice that I’m trying to make each day.