Work was aggravating on Tuesday. A lot.
Tuesday night I didn't have time even to change out of my suit when I got home. Just long enough to collect a couple of Monkeyboy's leftover chicken nuggets, kiss him and RFB hello, rifle through the mail, kiss them goodbye, and race off to a Religious School and Youth Committee meeting.
Where we proceeded to spend two hours and change to conduct forty-five minutes worth of business.
(I made it home in time to read to Monkeyboy --- we're halfway through a pretty good Star Wars: Rogue Squadron novel --- so I guess that's something.)
Wednesday, work was aggravating. A wee bit less than Tuesday, but the diminished aggravation was offset by a comparable amount of trepidation and butterflies, because I had to make a presentation at an important noon-time meeting.
I did ok. Again, two hours to transact maybe an hour's worth of real business, but what're ya gonna do? Stumbled through the rest of the day being only mildly productive, but thoroughly grumpy and out of sorts.
Wednesday night was great.
I tutor on Wednesday nights, usually helping kids with Bar or Bat Mitzvahs in the spring who need some extra help to be ready on the prayers they're supposed to lead.
As often happens, the kids made my week. The three 7th graders I met with were uniformly attentive and were really trying to make our time together worthwhile. If they're seeing me, they've usually goofed off along the way and need some quick remediation, or I'm doing an assessment of whether they fit into that category.
Picture being a 7th grader, chock full of energy and hormones, and having to go to two hours of religious school on Wednesday night and two more on Sunday morning, on top of your full school week. It's a wonder they don't tear the roof off the joint on a regular basis.
Instead, my time with each of these three kids renewed and re-invigorated me. (I'm pretty sure it helped them, too.)
And then I met my fourth kid of the night.
Having had almost no religious school exposure whatsoever, this 6th grader, after attending a couple of cousins' Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, decided that was a rite he'd like to celebrate as well.
He asked his parents.
This is the exact opposite of the traditional pattern, where parents have to sort of cajole, demand and physically schlepp their kids off to religious school once they hit pre-adolescence, and on through Bar/Bat Mitzvah in 7th grade and Confirmation in 10th.
This kid, warned that he was starting from scratch, and that he'd have to do a lot of extra catch-up work, and that his bar mitzvah would still probably have to be a year or so late, said, in effect, "Bring it on!"
He's learning a whole new alphabet, and a language written from right to left, where the vowel sounds appear underneath the letters.
And a set of tunes his peers have been learning since 1st or 2nd grade.
At a time in his life when regular schoolwork is getting harder and more plentiful.
Kinda put my own gripes and grumbles in perspective.
Every one one of the 4 kids I met with last night said thank you. Good for them; they're growing up to be mensches.
From me, each got a hearty Todah Rabah. Which I think they know, and if they don't they can look up, means Thank You Very Much.