I accompanied Scott & Ellie to Tot Shabbat today.
It's a service for the under-5 crowd and their parents, a very abbreviated service that lasts 45 minutes, includes singing and dancing (for those who care to) and a story (instead of a Torah reading).
Scott's been great about taking Ellie when he could while I've been sick. But I really felt bad about not making the effort to be there. Plus, we've had problems with Ellie refusing to go sometimes, and I thought my presence might encourage her to be more enthusiastic about the outing.
Well, that last part didn't really work. She cried before we left. She cried on the way there. ("I just want to stay hooooooome!" she whined.)
Scott dropped me off at the main doors to the synagogue since I knew I couldn't walk even from the handicapped parking and still be able to make it through the service.
So I waited on a bench inside the door for them, and Ellie seemed OK about being there, especially since we let her wear her princess tiara and jewelry and "glass slippers."
But gosh, it hadn't really registered how far it was from the door to where they hold the Tot Shabbat service. So I was feeling tired before I got there. And then Ellie decided she could only sit on my lap, but she really wanted to be balanced on just one leg, which meant that I had to keep hold of her so she didn't lose her balance and fall off.
It was just all a bit too much for me. I love singing the prayers and songs we sing there, but I'm too short of breath to really do it comfortably. I sat during the parts where people stand. I had worried that the service leader would comment on it, but we were all the way in the back and I don't think he could see me anyway. :)
Tot Shabbat services are just this incredibly semi-organized chaos of kids running around and crying and talking and such. It's a great way to introduce them to services, but I get tired just being around groups of people, and I was so worn out after it was over (including a light lunch they serve after the service) that I went straight to bed when we got home and slept from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
I know it's good to occasionally push the boundaries and test myself on what I can do and tolerate, but I just get so frustrated when it doesn't work out well. I need to remember to congratulate myself for trying instead of just beating myself up for what doesn't work.
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