Saturday, December 19, 2009


Savlanut means "patience" in hebrew. It is one of the first words I learned, and also one of the first words I taught Mermaid Girl.

When you grow up in a young country like the USA (compared to those of Europe, which were my only other frame of reference for the first half of my life), you don't learn much about patience. The time horizon of four years (based on the Presidential election cycle) is about a long as you can think, and working in a stockholder-owned corporation shortens that time horizon to one year at best. Skipping grades at school just reinforces the idea that faster=better. So I was especially disappointed in myself that one of my mothering projects didn't get finished in time. I thought.

See, after my divorce, like all divorced parents (I hope), I felt some guilt with regard to my children. And, much as I didn't want to let that guilt influence my raising them, sometimes I fell into the trap. Just before one Chanuka in the 1970's, when the New York City Museum offered a build-an-authentic-turn-of-the-century-city-dollhouse kit, I succumbed. [Note: "turn-of-the-century" meant from the 19th to the 20th century back in those days.] Of course the offer also addressed some deep dollhouse-loving memories of my own. And when, for a small additional price per item, I could buy authentic turn-of-the-century doll-sized urniture, and wallpaper (!), my resistance was demolished as surely as most real-life turn-of-the-century-houses were.

Unfortunately, the demands of single-motherhood, such as work, carpooling, and home ownership, seemed to intrude on dollhouse time with my daughter, and she suddenly grew up and lost interest in dollhouses before the miniature floral patterned wallpaper was hung. So I stored it all in my brother's basement along with the vinyl record albums, and the wedding dress

Over the years, from time to time, my sister-in-law would ask me what to do with the stored items. Luckily she was patient, and gradually stuff got picked up, mailed, or donated. Eventually, all that was left was the dollhouse furniture. Until this year, when I suggested it might be time for Little Mermaid to enjoy it. It arrive last week, and her reaction: "Better than a million Webkinz."

Sometimes things take longer than you think to sort themselves out. If you have savlanut, that is.


Shari said...

great story

Savtadotty said...

Thanks, Shari.

Fred said...

Oh, how I liked this, Savtadotty. As my three begin life outside outside of my house, I often wonder what I could have done to spend more time with them.

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season.

Savtadotty said...

Fred, I don't recommend looking back with any regrets. From what I can see of your girls, you did a great job as their father.