(Kosher) Salt On The Wound

All day long, Aviva’s early-morning inquiry has had me questioning reality and remembering to be curious about the way things are, and the way they aren’t:

If they’re water, how come clouds don’t make puddles?


I tripped and fell today over a cement block, landing on my palms and knees. Found myself instantaneously breathing much the way I did in labor, deeply and with every ounce of my attention. Both kids, along with a friend of Aviva’s, were watching me, and I knew that they were holding their breath as I was deepening mine, waiting to see if I was still a dependably unfazeable adult.

Later, as V sprinkled kosher salt on our raggedly sliced potatoes to make french fries, I understood the idea of “pouring salt on the wound” more viscerally.


Aviva had to get two shots today. It took me and two nurses to hold her tightly enough to accomplish this brutal deed, and we’re lucky nobody burst an eardrum.

Within moments afterwards, she was sporting a princess sticker and determining whether to get rainbow or chocolate sprinkles on her creemee.


Later, in the car, we talked about how terrible it had been anticipating the shots. How it was so much worse thinking about them than actually getting them over with. Aviva wanted to know why. Why is it worse expecting something you think might be scary or painful than just experiencing it?

My improvised answer (aren’t they all improvised?) echoed the bumper sticker a neighbor of ours has: Don’t believe everything you think. The mind loves to tell stories, I told her. And we get to choose when or whether we want to listen.

“Maybe you could just say to your mind, ‘I don’t feel like listening to your story about how much the shots are going to hurt,'” I said.

Her response startled me: “But why sometimes does your mind lie to you?”

I didn’t fake an answer there. I simply answered that that, my love, is an excellent question.


It does occur to me now, though, finally alone after a twelve-hour stretch with kids, that we are always equipped to deal with what we’re experiencing. We just don’t think we are or will be. So the thinking undoes us.

Being in mama mode is so freakin’ constant and often frazzling these days. I think it’s these moments of reflecting on my days, this practice of digging for jewels, that keeps me sane. The going inward is what ultimately allows me to get back out there, into the mix, the fray, the frakas. Did someone say frakas?! Must be time for the weekend.


Shabbat Shalom. May this weekend bring you moments of sanity and goodness and gracious space and deep breathing and surviving what you thought you wouldn’t. Oh, and one last piece of unsolicited advice: Don’t pour any salt on the wounds – even if it is kosher.

5 thoughts on “(Kosher) Salt On The Wound

  1. Meg Casey says:

    Wow V–you are such a thoughtful and curious little girl. Why does our mind lie to us…indeed if we could answer it the grownup world would be a much better place.


  2. Bruno LoGreco says:

    Your improvised answer is brilliant and correct. The mind does lie to us because of our past experiences. Past experiences cloud our ability to view life now. If Aviva had no past shots, then she would sit there and wait for the prick of the needle to prick her with no judgement. But, sometime ago Aviva was pricked with a needle that did hurt and she remembers the feeling.


  3. Mika says:

    Wow you are great. I am so glad to have you as a reference for answers when kids ask questions. I can’t picture Anise ever asking a question!!
    Your girls are lucky, they have such a wise mother.

    Hope your scrapes heal fast.


  4. Nina says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned your blog to me, Jena. And that I actually remembered, two whole days later, to check it out! Way back when, when you gave me your biz card, your web site was still under construction. And then, of course, I eventually forgot about it.

    Anyway, I love reading about your observations, AND Aviva’s observations. It’s amazing how much wisdom our 5 year olds have. I love the way they freely articulate such questions or statements without self-consciousness. How many of us developed the inner critic that stifles us from voicing ideas or pondering out loud for fear that it’s dumb or silly or that our opinion is worthless, or because we anticipate a negative reaction from the listener. (There’s that anticipation phenomenon again!)

    From my own experience, I think my inner critic came forth at a very early age (4) largely due to how I was parented, and so I applaud you for the open dialogue you have with your daughter, and I thank you for sharing some of it.

    I think that our approach (yes, Sarah and I have similar conversations :o) ) is especially important in raising girls. It is so validating and empowering for them and their perspective is so enlightening and enriching for us!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s