Fish bowl
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Fish bowl

Many of us received a very precious gift this year — the gift of time with our children, who were not supposed to be home. Husband #1 and I were joking about how, many years from now (hopefully), when we are sitting alone at a table in a hotel in the Catskills over Passover (hopefully and doubtful at the same time), we will fondly recall the Passover of 2020 when our seders lasted until almost 4 in the morning and the six of us had such a wonderful time together.  Yup, as a boymom, I am pretty confident that we will be alone for many holidays in the future, but I am more or less prepared for that.

But these past few months have been amazing. Son #3 was supposed to be in Israel, but because of what is going on, as you all already know, he came home. So I have had four bonus months with him. Now, I don’t know how he has felt about it, but I have been delighted. So when he told me that his amazing rav from Israel was coming in to run a kollel for a few weeks, I was happy that he was going to be able to escape from home, but sad that he was leaving me. I was convinced that none of these camps were going to happen, but there we were, packing him up for a few weeks in the scenic Pennsylvania countryside. 

Before he left, he had to get tested and then we were told that when we drove him up, he would be tested again. Anyone who was going to camp needed to get tested, and then if anyone tested positive, anyone who came up in the car with the positive person had to go back home. Got that? We also had to drop his trunks off at another location, which was a whole other production, but it is all good.

Now this was the problem. In my head, I thought that everything was going to run smoothly. That it would be like an assembly line. We would pull up, he would get out, and while he was getting tested we would drive around, and by the time we got through the camp, he would be waiting for us on the other side, he’d take out the rest of his luggage, and away we would go. This thought process was only interesting because usually I tell my kids and myself to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised, so why I didn’t tell myself that this time is beyond me — but whatever.

According to the camp, you weren’t allowed to leave your car unless you were actually going to the camp. And this is where I learned what it must be like to be a goldfish. The process that I thought would take 20 minutes actually took over two hours. So husband #1 and I were goldfish for this period of time. We were sitting in our glass bowl while happy campers and staff members were walking past our car, looking in to see if we were still alive or if we were floating on top of the bowl. Unfortunately, no one was throwing us any snacks, and truthfully, I did get out of the car a few times to walk around, because I thought I was going to go crazier than I already am, but in the end, son #3 was negative, so he was happy and we got to leave. I said to husband #1, “Why does he have to leave me??” and he looked at me and said, “He has been home with you for four months. FOUR MONTHS!!” And I am admitting this publicly, husband #1 was right. Four bonus months. 

When we got back home I called out to son #3 to tell him we were back. (Of course he didn’t answer, because we had just brought him to camp.) Husband #1 wasn’t even fazed by it, because he is used to me. Then I went into the kitchen to see Moby, our fish. I told Moby how I have a whole new appreciation for his life in a glass bowl and that by talking to him over the past two years, I hope that he feels a little bit better about his life in a bowl. I am convinced that he smiled at me. It is going to be a long summer. Hope you all enjoy yours!

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is hoping that son #3 does get to go back to Israel, but she will also be happy if he is stuck home with her.

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