I posted early yesterday, so I didn’t get to tell you the major accomplishment of the day: Mr. December and three of our kids hiked almost 30 kilometres, and E joined them for the last 6k. I dropped them off at the trailhead at 8:00 in the morning, met them around 1:00 to refill their water bottles and give them some watermelon, and picked them up at 5:30. According to Mr. December, complaints were few and far between.
We were in a rush to get ready for Yom Kippur at that point. There was no way we could each have a turn in the shower and be ready in time. I instructed everyone to come down to the dock in a bathing suit, and met them there with some plain soap and towels. We all washed in the lake together, and when I told Mr. December that some people have the custom of immersing in a mikveh before Kol Nidre, he put his bathing suit up on the dock and dunked himself six or seven times.
Back to the hardcore kids, though. K said she was going to try to fast this Yom Kippur; then N piped up and surprised us all by saying that he would try it, too. Mr. December advised him to pick a target time at which he would eat, but N declined to do that. “I’ll just see how it goes,” he told us.
In the end, both K and N fasted the entire 25-hour day with very few complaints and a surprising amount of patience and discipline. Even after the fast had ended, N waited an extra fifteen minutes for fresh rolls to come out of the oven before finally eating.
Given that these kids routinely whine that they’re hungry only forty minutes after a meal, claim to be too tired to walk upstairs and retrieve their socks, and complain about every minor discomfort, it was nice to have this confirmation that they’re hale, hearty, and have some serious stamina. I am so impressed, and a little surprised. I think they are, too.