Went to an informal shiva yesterday in Ontario for a friend's sister who died after a long illness. My friend said that it was a long time coming, but that you are never ready. It's another reminder to me to be here while it's here. I brought the kids and they were very well behaved (they didn't break anything).
We were in the car on the way there and it was a gorgeous sunny day. Naomi started a game of finding animals in the clouds. We found many crocodiles, hippos, a kitten, and a whale. We've played these games in the past, the special part is that now she's initiating the play and finding ways to entertain herself that do not involve poking at her brother. When I was a kid I didn't have a sibling, so I always had to amuse myself. It really wasn't that hard, I'm fairly simple. I would look out the window and blur my eyes and watch the wires dancing from telephone pole to telephone pole, I'd count the numbers on the posts, I'd make up creatures hiding in the ditches, and stare up into the sky. We travelled a lot, so the backseat of the car was a comfort zone for me, a silent place to think. When I look at all the video screens in the back of cars these days it makes me wonder how many kids are losing the ability to invent pleasure and amusement by looking out a window. Sometimes it's the moments of absolute boredom that push our minds to truly creative places.