Lessons from the Hebrew School Carpool: They Listen

October 28, 2010


Leah started Hebrew School this year.  Coincidentally this was the year that we decided to switch congregations and now we couldn’t live farther from our synagogue.  It’s okay, though.  It’s a great synagogue.

SOMEHOW I am lucky enough to be a part of a carpool from my neck of the woods for this.  They go every Wednesday night and we all take turns running them down there and back which has made it so incredibly wonderful in terms of schedules.

There are four kids, including Leah, in the carpool – two boys, two girls.  The conversation between them is endlessly fascinating and at times downright frightening.  All are good kids, but, man, it seems like 9 years old now is just, well, older than when I was 9 years old.

In a lame-o attempt to be a Cool Mom, I had noticed that the lottery pot had reached $140 million on a state-sponsored billboard and asked the kids what they would do if they won $140 million dollars.

The answers were surprising.

“I would give half away to an animal charity.  Then I would put some away for college, and some away to save and then I would buy everything that I want.”

“I would put half away for college and then buy all the stuff I want.  Oh, and cancer.”

“I would put half away for college, then donate some to diabetes and cancer, then I want a boat, a wakeboard, a lakehouse on a lake and some other stuff.”

“I would put half away for college, then take the other half and split it into thirds. One to save, one to buy whatever I wanted and I’d also share with you, and Daddy and Benjamin.  Oh, and I’d give some to some people who have no money.”

I like that Leah would share with us because I’d most likely have to loan her the $2 to buy the damn ticket.

Isn’t it interesting?  All chose charity.  All recognized the need to save for college – even if many thought college would cost $70 million.  (And, hey, it can feel that way.)

I have a fun and funny mom-friend who told a story the other day about a ridiculously frustrating morning that ended with her storming back into her bedroom, waking her husband and with great hand and neck flourish declaring, “Imma need you to tell me there’s some big PAYOFF for all of this.  That these people are going to be well-meaning, self-sufficient, well-functioning human beings… ‘cause it’s 7:30 in the morning and I’M ALREADY AGGRAVATED.”

There are a lot of those days.  They exhaust us.  But there are moments like today’s carpool that I can turn to her now and say, “Yes, there is a big payoff.  And sometimes we get a glimpse at it if we’re lucky.”

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4 Responses to “Lessons from the Hebrew School Carpool: They Listen”

  1. MainlineMom Says:

    That is awesome. Seriously, 9 years old? I knew there was a reason I like you…if your kid knows enough to save for college and give a lot away…she must be hearing some good money talk from you and DH. I’m working on just teaching the boys that everything costs money, I have to work for that money, and no they can’t have XYZ just because there is money in my pocket. 🙂

    • Pam Says:

      Thanks! I think I’m more proud of the charity part than the saving money part. The saving money part is about YOU, the charity part is about OTHERS. Money comes and goes – compassion is hard to teach, you know?

  2. kim/hormone-colored days Says:

    Lovely insights from the children.

    I drive my two boys and another set of brothers to Hebrew School. It is unpleasant with lots of burping, fake farts and likely some real ones since the car usually smells by the time they are all out.

    • Pam Says:

      Totally get that. Right now it’s just a bunch of pre-hormonal giggling ’round this car. Not sure I want to see what happens next. 😉