As you may recall, we have been putting the kids to bed early on Friday afternoon before Shabbat, and then having a quiet Shabbat meal after they are asleep. So far, things have been pretty smooth. We had Friday night down pat.

But then came Saturday night. The issue here is that while you can bring Shabbat in early (starting from the time known as plag haminchah), you cannot usher it out early. Thus, while our kids have their own early Shabbat on Friday afternoon, they were missing the havdalah ceremony, which separates the holiness of Shabbat from the week ahead. (Since my oldest is four, and small children are not yet obligated to do the mitzvahs, and whatever they do is primarily training for adulthood, we made the executive decision that they would take a break from havdalah training until the fall.)

Two weeks ago, around two o’clock early Sunday morning, Y was crying in his bed. I groggily came to see what he needed. He asked for milk. I stumbled over to the kitchen, sloshed some milk into a cup and brought it over to his bedside.

He was still crying. “I missed havdalah. I want havdalah,” sobbed my heartbroken son.

“It’s okay, Y,” I replied. “The halachah (law) is that you can make havdalah on many liquids—including milk. Here, hold your cup of milk and say with me.” Together we said the blessing over milk and the havdalah. Satisfied, Y drifted back to sleep, and I drifted back to bed.

Fast forward one week. Saturday night. We finally finished sweeping, washing and putting away. We were just about ready for bed, when . . . “I wanted to wake up for havdalah!”

Armed with a cup of milk, I entered the room. “No, I want to do it the way you do. I want grape juice in a becher,” he said, using the Yiddish term for the silver goblets we use for kiddush, havdalah and the Seder night.

So there we sat, the two of us, he holding a cup of grape juice and I holding his hand, chanting the words together.

That was last week. It is Friday morning, and if past performance is any indicator, he will wake up for havdalah once again. I am telling you in advance, if he asks for a candle in bed, read my lips: the answer is a resounding “no.”