Picture Day.

no; this isn't my kids' school, it's just a random shot of the misery of class photos.

Today I decided that for our “Elul Experiment” our family would focus on davening (praying) with kavana, with proper intention.

Today was picture day at school, and one might find this fact to be completely unrelated, but it isn’t.  No one, including me, was able to focus on that particular mitzvah today, as it seems everyone had to instead focus on the proper management of frustration.

As I blogged yesterday, my six year old broke her wrist on Shabbat. So for my husband and I we spent the entire day very frustrated, although not by picture day. It seems that no pediatric orthopedist’s office in New Jersey saw my daughter’s pain as their personal urgent crisis. We both spent the day on the phone, mostly on hold, trying to get an appointment made. While we have one for tomorrow, I personally felt unsettled while her care is still in limbo.

As for the kids? Although this is the second week of school, picture day messed with their sense of routine. As well as messing with their wardrobe choices, their recess and even their lunch. They all told me they had an awful day. I tried to console them with the notion that when the move to Israel (as far as I know) they will be spared the experience of “picture day”. As most of my readers know, they will undoubtedly meet a whole new host of frustrations with which picture day will pale in comparison, but I didn’t get into that.

Everyone seemed to fare relatively well in the frustration management challenge of the day. I choose to confront it with distraction since frustration is almost always born of our lack of ability to change the situation. So we might as well not focus on it. I know this works with me; I try to shift my focus on to the things I can improve or change.  At least for today, this seemed to work with the kids as well.

I would like to share with you one of my tools for distracting them today, a  hip-hop dance video… from Aish HaTorah. I hope you enjoy it!

Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem