Many years ago, when my monkeys were in camp, there was a kind man who would bring Son #1 challah almost every week. The man would go up on weekends because his wife worked there. And Son #1 needed challah because his mom didn’t want him to put her in a nursing home and she knew how much he enjoyed said challah. One Thursday, I left the challah in its usual place on the kind man’s porch. It was one of those pull-apart challahs. A few hours later, the kind man sent me a picture of the challah — a squirrel had eaten one of the squares. Clearly, he must not have liked it, because he only ate the one square and left the rest of it. The kind man and I decided to throw out the rest of it. I am not really sure what happened the following week, but thankfully, Son #1 did not starve that summer.
Why am I sharing this story with you? Originally, I was going to write this column about “things people do for other people.” Specifically, delivering things to our children. This man who went up to camp every week was the original Amazon delivery guy. Every time I went to drop off the challah, there would be bags upon bags of stuff. Stuff that the kids probably didn’t need, but we send up anyway. Because, as parents, if our kid says he needs three cases of powerade, even though they sell powerade at the canteen, we send it because, well, we are all a little nuts and have issues saying no to our children… Is that wrong? Probably, but it is too late for me.
I think about all the things that I have done for Son #1, specifically, because he was the one who made me a mommy. And as new parents, heck, even as more seasoned parents, we are all flying by the seat of our pants anyway. I think about how I let my kids watch television because my parents didn’t let me watch television. And now, I have three Oreos who believe that television is evil and that Husband #1 and I should give away our televisions. Ha ha haha…. That’s a good one, boys. Now, perhaps if my daughters-in-law request that — naa, not happening then either. I buy Cholov Yisroel milk and am learning all about Pas Yisroel and the proper way to check for bugs in a variety of fruits and vegetables. I am not giving away my televisions. After all, I need something to keep me sane after checking for all those bugs!
This weekend marks a very auspicious occasion. It is 26 years since I became a mom. 26 years since 24 hours and 30 minutes of labor. 26 years since the beginning of the craziest roller coaster ride began. But if the ride was going to start with any of my boys, it was perfect that it started with Son #1. Always with a smile, stayed in his crib playing until 10 a.m. with nary a cry — of course he ruined it for each subsequent child, but that is ok. It was totally worth it.
Every year, I tell my children the story about the day they were born. I think most parents do that, or at least I hope other parents do that. Son #1 did not want to come out. I used my dad’s practice (not my dad, one of his partners don’t worry). My dad would come in to check on me because I didn’t want the epidural.
Long story short, it’s an 8 pound 1 ounce boy. And because my dad knew that I hadn’t eaten in over 25 hours, he brought me in some Cheerios and milk. Every year I talk about my dad and the Cheerios, because with me, as you know, it is all about food. My dad was so excited about Son #1. I was the first daughter of a partner to use the practice and it was really very exciting for everyone involved.
So even though I am supposed to focusing on Son #1’s birthday, even Son #1 knows how special his birth was to his grandpa. I have been told that the first “everything” after you lose someone is hard, so I guess that is why this column has taken a turn.
Let’s turn back. Happy birthday Son #1. I love you and am so proud of you. Thank you for giving me DIL #1 and Strudel. I am hoping it is because I sent you up all those challahs with the kind man all those years ago.
And now we have come full circle with this column.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck hopes everyone had a sweet Rosh Hashanah. On to the next holiday!