The house is strangely quiet this morning. No film school students coming into the kitchen to make themselves a cup of coffee. No phone calls to get a few more minor actors for the school scene. No queries about which pot to use for the pasta. No commotion up and down the stairs. It’s not over yet. They are on location somewhere else today.
My house has been a movie set for the past few days. It makes me appreciate what goes into film making. They’re busy moving the equipment, auditioning and casting the actors. For this film there was the immense job of preparing the set with all kinds of weird stuff from home made silicone brains to jars of hair jell with rubber snakes inside it, and of course writing and directing the film. I am especially impressed with the amount of cooperation it takes for the whole crew to be able to work together as a team.
But I want to take it back to a much earlier preparation than this. When I think back, our daughter was always a director, creatively organizing and coordinating events. As in every family, each of our children is totally unique and our job as parents is to recognize and encourage and cultivate the uniqueness when we see it.
In the case of “our daughter the director” we saw her face shine when she was organizing a birthday party for her younger siblings. We saw her organize a book on “100 reasons why Aba (Dad) is the greatest” for my husband’s birthday, getting everyone in the family to draw all kinds of funny and serious pictures in it. We saw her do a book report for school where she got her siblings and neighbors to dress up as characters in the book and take pictures of them acting out the scenes. Then she went to the internet to find background scenes that looked like what the book was describing and she implanted the photographs onto the internet background pictures and put it all into a binding. Whenever she does these things she throws her whole self into it.
From what I’ve seen I can think of at least two signs to look for in order to bring out a child’s unique qualities so he or she can emerge as a person and discover his or her place in the world: a) When do you see their faces light up? b) When do you see a high level of energy?
All that’s left for us parents is to facilitate and to soak up the nachas (parental pleasure). (Batya Yaniger)