Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend Update and Mommy Shuckling

"Sunday Morning" by Laurie Blank

Well, it's Marathon Monday, a.k.a. Patriot's Day, and there's a Nor'easter out there. So we're all (except David) still in our pajamas, watching the marathon on TV (although now the boys have switched to "Lion King 2", while Sofia is reviewing my Sudoku book). I'm typing, with yet another migraine trying to work its way into my brain.

Busy weekend. Friday night we went to our friends in Newton for dinner, but I forgot that they have a cat, so Micah had a bad allergic reaction. I had to give him Benadryl while we were there, and use the inhaler when we got home (he's graduated from nebulizer to that bag-thing with inhaler). Sofia is still on Pulmicort, too, and my allergies were bothering me, but not as bad as Micah's.

Saturday morning I had to read Torah, so I left David and the kids home (so he could do nebs with Sofia and get everyone ready). I got a migraine as soon as I got to shul, but I managed to read ok (fortunately DE and ML were the gabbaim, and they are very gentle correctors). I left before Haftorah, because the migraine (or the meds) made me feel awful. Got home, packed everyone up, and headed down to David's cousin's house for A's birthday party.

Nice time, nice to see the extended families. We stayed late (of course), and got home around midnight. The 3 boys got along great, and Sofia had P's mom charmed (she's really ready for another baby grandchild!).

Sunday David took Sam to work for a little while, and then tried to go climbing, but it was too crowded, so they went to the arcade for a little while. I stayed home with the little ones and another migraine. B arrived to babysit at 1:00, and David and I went to a birthday party at an art gallergy - and we bought a painting! I have NO idea where it's going, but it's really lovely (see above).

Then David and I spent 2 hours in Borders. I found a lovely book about DS: Just The Facts Series: Down Syndrome , made for kids, but it reads really nicely for adults too.

Ok, about "Mommy Shukling":
Wikipedia defines shuckling, from the Yiddish word meaning "to shake" (also written as shokeling) is the ritual swaying of Jewish worshippers during prayer, usually forward and back but also from side to side. This practice can be traced back to at least the eighth century, and possibly as far back as Talmudic times. It is believed to increase concentration and emotional intensity (Eisenberg 2004:360). In Chassidic lore, shuckeling is seen as an expression of the soul's desire to abandon the body and reunite itself with its source, similar to a flame's shaking back and forth as if to free itself from the wick (Tanya chapter 19). Many Jews shuckel while engaged in anything requiring focus and concentration or extreme seriousness, even mundane activities.

So Saturday morning I found myself shuckling, as usual, and since I wasn't feeling well, I started to think about how "Mommy shuckling" is different from the standard prayer shuckling. Look at most mommies, especially of younger kids. We all SWAY almost constantly, right? It doesn't matter if we are actually holding a baby or not. That soothing motion becomes a part of us. Besides the fact that my knees and hips hurt too much if I stand still, I find the side-to-side rocking very mentally soothing.

So that started me thinking about community and family (my current "themes") - do I 'mommy' myself when I shuckle without holding someone? How important is it to mommy myself? (I think it's VERY important!) How do we physically comfort others? When someone cries and we hold them (child or adult), we usually rock back and forth, another form of shuckling. I like it.


Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Hey Francine...of course I remember you. I cannot believe how big the boys are and Sofia is just adorable. I sure hope you did not get any flooding or damage from the storm.