Thursday, September 3, 2009

Answers, part 2

Thorn asked: "I am curious how you and your agency are preparing to handle whatever Shabbat observance you keep. I mean, if they have a placement late Friday night, do they just not call you? How you plan to connect those two parts of your life is very interesting to me."

There are two parts to this question. One, how will the agency handle it. Two, how will I handle it.

The agency won't do anything special because of my Shabbat observance. If they call with a placement, I just won't answer the phone. If they try to schedule visits with the kiddo's family on Saturday, we'll see if it can be closer to my home (not AT my home!) or on another day of the week. Or if the social worker can take Kiddo to the visit.

How I handle it is obviously a more complex issue. I will say, first, that I will not be forcing any kiddo in my home to refrain from the things that I refrain from on Shabbat (turning lights on and off, using the phone, watching TV, using the computer, drawing), though some limits might be necessary out of practicality--e.g. if the kid is three and doesn't know how to turn the TV on, or the like, then she won't be watching TV on Shabbat. So while I will try to make sure that visits aren't on Shabbat, the kiddo will be more than welcome (circumstances permitting) to talk to family on the phone.

I also go to synagogue regularly (well, more recently I have been sleeping through synagogue regularly, but that's not my ideal), especially on Saturday mornings. I plan to continue doing this when I have a kiddo, but again, it will depend on the kid. If the kid can sit quietly with a book and toys for a half hour, we'll try going to services late, taking a run around break, coming back for the end. If the kid can't sit quietly at all, I'll get a babysitter one or two weeks a month and skip services the other times. (For those who don't know, Jewish services--at least on the more traditional side of the spectrum--are very conducive to coming late. I've not been to church since a few high school choral performances but I think that church is more formal in that respect. In contrast, it's not at all unusual for people to trickle in throughout a Shabbat morning service.)

Emergencies always take precedence over Shabbat observance, so if a kiddo is raging or doing something else that I need support to deal with, I will use the phone to get help.

I'm not sure off the top of my head what other Shabbat issues there will be. One smaller issue is classmates' birthday parties or other play dates. These could be a problem. But this implicates another issue, which is school, so in the interests of not going on too much about school, I'll leave this question for another day.

Thanks for the question!

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