A couple of years ago, I wrote a column called “Parenting at 10,000 Feet.” It was about a family that Husband #1 and I had the pleasure of sitting next to on an airplane. They had three little kids and were doing their very best to entertain them so that they didn’t scream for the entire plane ride. Of course, as these things go, when one kid was finally calm, the others would decide they needed more attention. It was fun for me, but not so fun for them.
And then I ran into the same family at one of our fine over-priced kosher supermarkets, and wouldn’t you know it, three years later, these kids are all grown up. Okay, well, not entirely grown up, but they are probably a lot quieter on long plane rides now. Because that is what happens. Life keeps marching on. Kids get bigger, God willing, and we block out the screaming of years gone by. Do we forget it? I think it is like childbirth. If we don’t forget it, block it from our memories, that would be a bad thing. I would much rather remember Son #2 being adorable, with his big blue eyes, than how I had to wear him in a baby bjorn for almost a year because he wouldn’t stop crying. Oh wait, I still remember that. But those eyes made it all worthwhile.
I also still remember waking up three times a night when he was eight months old and saying to a sleeping Husband #1, “Why doesn’t he sleep through the night yet?” Of course, I got no response because, as I just wrote, Husband #1 was sleeping. But life kept marching on, and a few years later, it took an army to wake up Son #2. That phase didn’t last that long, because then his inner Oreo started to emerge and he was always up early to go to synagogue. In fact, I remember the last time he slept late. It was the morning after Hurricane Sandy, when we were all sleeping in the basement and knew there wasn’t going to be a minyan. Son #2 slept his little heart out. And that was that.
It’s funny, the things we choose to remember. Now that kid learns in the Mir in Israel. And is married to his “rebbetzin,” my Dil #2.
Let’s talk about the “living in Israel” thing. Israel is very far away. Technology has made it a little closer, but what happens when your kids have decided to live like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and don’t have that wonderful technology? Dil #2 has a computer for work, so when we are lucky, we schedule a Zoom meeting. But since I am technologically deficient and have a poor memory, I cannot get Zoom on my phone, because I have no idea what my Apple ID is and I can’t get any apps (which I have learned are actually applications and not, unfortunately, appetizers), so those precious meetings can take place only when I have my computer.
The point of those sentences is that I can’t Zoom as easily as I can FaceTime, so it is what it is. There are those who think it is so wonderful when they hear you have kids living in Israel, but, in reality, it is hard. Hard for them, hard for you, but you just hope they stay safe and healthy and happy. And that plane rides come down in price, and that somehow, the 12-hour flight becomes shorter and more comfortable. Ahh, a middle-aged gal can dream.
And life and time go on. They are living their dreams there, and we are living the dream here, she wrote facetiously. Those screaming kids on the plane I started this column with grow up, and their dreams start to emerge, and their parents hold on tight and hope they are safe and healthy and happy, and that is just how it goes. As I wrote last week, Son #2 turned 25 and I am still not sure how all of those years have passed. I sent birthday cards with his FIL because when Son #1 was in Israel for the year I learned, the hard way, that it takes three months to send a package to Israel.
So, in conclusion, enjoy every crazy moment. The end.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is in a reflective mood. She apologizes for the lack of humor this week. Perhaps it is a side effect of menopause.