It’s been an eventful week – at school and personally. At school it is the usual end of the year events with a few additions. The Tzedakah celebration was once again the inspiring event that it has always been – students spoke well about their projects. The students and their efforts suitably impressed the recipients of the student’s philanthropy as well as community members who attended the event. Our second grade learners added a new event – the presentation of their endangered species reports. Once again, we all swelled with pride as each child came forward to talk about his/her animal and its habitat. Thursday, fifth graders read Torah publicly for the first time, demonstrating their proficiency in Torah trope. There’s more to come in the last couple of weeks.
Personally, it has been a humbling week. Most of you know that I’m used to juggling many things at once – and I’m fiercely independent. I’m used to giving, sending something to a friend who is sick, calling someone to check on how they’re doing, cooking for someone who can’t and helping people solve all manner of problems. This is the first time that I’ve needed to rely on others to help me as I learn to navigate the world with a foot cast and crutches. More significantly, I’m learning to ask others to help me open a door, carry something for me, and fix a cup of tea.
I wish I had a really good story about how I broke bones in my foot and my thumb – I’m letting the students think up the better story. But tripping on a tiny slope on a sidewalk is the real story. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I was sure it was a little sprain that would be fine in a few weeks – but that’s not the story either. I’ve learned to appreciate how much worse it could be.
Among the most important lessons I’ve learned, is the one about people who are truly empathetic and those who are not but think they are. I’ve learned that the majority of people in our community are genuinely empathetic and sincerely helpful. I’ve learned that all of our students are so very compassionate. The two most important lessons have been to appreciate (people, the human body and it’s capacity to heal), and to remember that I really am not superwoman….at least not for the next month.
Two weeks ago, I told the students a story about a folk character called Nachum Gam Zu (Also This). Nachum got that appellation because he always looked at difficult situations and said “Gam Zu L’Tova” (This Too is For the Good). While I’m often critical of that position since some really heinous things just can’t be “for the good”. But living through this challenging week, I do see how one can take that stance and really learn and grow from such challenges.