Having gotten through the spate of 'yoms' just now (Yom Hashoa, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haatzmaut) I had a lot of conversations with the girls about what the days are, the nature of a secular holiday as opposed to a religious one, mutual respect and so on. I was curious, though, what Llama would get from school about any of them, this being her first year in Real School.
I asked her about what the class did during the siren on Yom Hazikaron (item: Sroch's naughty class mostly stood at attention just to interrupt the teacher. Oh, such normal elementary school children! I was so much worse than they!). She said her teacher talked about it and how many Israelis stand still for the siren, not speaking:
"But Mommy, I get it, they are standing like out of kavod (respect) for the chayalim (soldiers) who are dead. But what does it help them? They're DEAD. It doesn't even DO anything, it doesn't HELP them. Like they don't need the kavod ! It doesn't make any sense!"
Um, right. Well, yes.
So we talked about that the point is the ALIVE people think that it's a kavod to the dead people, and so if she were to find herself outside at that time then we should also stand still, so no one who thinks it's important will think we are being DISrespectful to the soldiers. We don't want anyone to think we don't value the chayalim (because we value them very much), so we stand still as a kavod to the live people who are standing still as a kavod to the dead people. Simple.
"But MOMMY, we don't care what other people think of us! We do what we are supposed to do and we don't care what people say!"
Um.... um... shoot.
That's correct, Llama. But um - we um sorta care? Like sometimes?
Oh booger. Just if you're outside during the siren, say tehillim or something, okay??
We did talk about also the fact that what we do in this world can make a difference for souls of people who have died, but um, yeah. We don't care what people think about us except oh yes we do.
I've been having this conundrum with a different daughter of mine as well... No, we don't care what others think about us. But yes, you should pay attention not to be so different that you are mocked or shunned. No, there's nothing wrong with being different. But yes, maybe don't be so different you don't have friends. AW BOOGER.
Seriously, I spent my childhood trying to be Different For the Sake of Different (partially as a reaction to my classmates deciding FOR me that I was already Different so I just embraced the heck outa that) and I never want my children to blindly follow the masses but to DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND MAKES THEM HAPPY... unless it ostracizes them for no reason or causes a chillul Hashem or goes against halacha or is just really strange like eating boogers or or or or or ARGH.
.... more and more I realize why such a large percentage of my peer group on Facebook discusses drinking wine on a regular basis.