As I have written before, I never know how people are going to react to the various things that I write about. Apparently, last week’s musings about the importance of appreciating all the moments you have with your children when they are younger really hit home with some of you. The feedback, both positive and negative, means so much to me. As a middle child with low self-esteem, the negative stuff hits closer to home than the positive, but that is an entirely different discussion. I am truly grateful that I have become a part of your lives when you read my column.
In continuing with the topic of children, I wanted to share another story with you. Last Friday, Son #3 was driving out to the Island of Long. Since Strudel needed a ride back to Far Faraway, I asked son #3 if he would be her driver. My adorable, good natured youngest child was more than happy to oblige. He and Strudel have developed quite an adorable relationship. She also has taken over his room, so every morning when I come in to get her, she points to the wall and says, “Dat Uncle Mattu with da rebbe.” Yes, it is.
And Uncle Mattu has started sleeping in Son #2’s room, but it is all good.
In any event, Son #3 loads up the car with his stuff, I put Strudel in her car seat, and then Son #3 runs into the house to retrieve something he forgot. “Mom!!!” I hear. “Mom!!!!! My phone is buzzing, and it won’t turn off!” Not sure why he is telling me this — he knows that I am technologically impaired and he is the one I always turn to for help. The fact that he is telling me about his phone is a very, very bad sign.
“What should I do? Should I put my sim card into my flip phone and just use the GPS to get to the Island of Long?” Lots for me to unpack in that sentence. Flip phones need sim cards? Why did Syms close? Sorry, I have a short attention span. Long story a little shorter, I gave Son #3 my phone.
“But I am not going to be home until after Shabbas! What will you do without a phone?” Well, we were going to find out.
How could I send my baby, with my baby’s baby, off to the Island of Long without a phone? Without Waze? I just couldn’t. Because that is what kind of mother I am. And, I figured, without a phone, less loshon hara (speaking badly about others) and that is a win-win for everyone.
In a previous column, I told you that my house phone no longer can make outgoing phone calls. So I had no way of getting in touch with anyone until Husband #1 came home before the arrival of the Sabbath Queen. This was my thought process. The only things I had to do that day, while driving my mom’s 20-year-old car, were all walking distance to some form of communication. If the red car stopped driving on Route 4, I was only three miles from wherever I needed to be, for example. So it was all good.
In this time in our history, not having a phone can be a very good thing. A few hours without the constant reminder of what our world has become can be quite good for your anxiety threshold. Truthfully, the only thing I missed was being able to watch videos of my “baked goods.” Apparently, Danish has started speaking. Her favorite word is “No.” Son #2 made a very sweet video of him asking Danish if Babka and Papa should stay in America, and she looks right into the camera, shakes her head, and says, “NO!!!” Precious.
So I made it through the hours with no way to get in touch with anyone, and Son #2 got to answer the texts I got while he had my phone. He safely returned Strudel to her bakers and made it to the Island of Long in less than two hours. And, for a fleeting moment, all was right with the world.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is looking forward to spending the weekend in Baltimore. Why? Because she gets to see her sister, and Strudel and her sister are coming along! (Is there another reason to look forward to being in Baltimore?) Wishing everyone a peaceful and safe Shabbos.