Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Savta Simcha and the Temple of Doom

Sometimes I write the titles of these posts just because I think they're funny.

Anyway, thanks to Michelle, I have a copy of the original Savta Simcha book. I actually remember my mother reading this to me, which since I learned to read so young is notable; it meant that part of the wonderful memory of the book is experiential rather than just the story.

It also means that what I saw with Sroch and Llama is what I myself experienced, that the book is so well done that my children listened to it even when there were pages with no pictures on them. If you can imagine.

We've been reading a chapter or two many days after school, just the two of them on the couch and I, reading. Sroch loved books from infancy; Llama didn't, as much, and then once Llama did, we had the conflict of reading a book that SHE wanted, thus disenfranchising what SHE wanted - well, sorta (don't tell anyone, but my six year old still enjoys baby books, shhhhhh). Anyway, what with everything we stopped reading a minimum of three books a day like we used to.

So I really enjoyed this daylight-reading time, also nice because it's not sacrificed on the alter of 'get your tuchas into bed right now it's already thirty minutes past your bedtime and no we can't have another book because you took twenty minutes just to take off your socks before the bath'. And then I really enjoyed the girls' engrossment with the story.

Today we read the last chapter, and as is my wont, I was crying so hard I could hardly read. Afterwards, I was trying to figure out why I was crying so, so hard (I mean, it's SAD that she leaves the children in America to go back to Israel, but okay, come on, I knew it was coming and all that - and there are four more books!).

I think it was this:
My mother, in America, read me this book, that closes on "Next year in Jerusalem!"
I, a child in America, enjoyed it, felt closer to my mother, and added another weight to the internal scale that would determine if I would, indeed, live my life in America or Israel.
Now I, a mother, in Israel, read this book to my children, and when I get to "Next year in Jerusalem!" I cry.
For my girls, children of Israel, are sitting here, being close to their mother, in Israel.

It's like... Yaffa Ganz (the author)... Savta Simcha (the character)... Mom... We listened. We got it.

And now we get to read it again.

(Oh man, now I'm crying AGAIN!)

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