Celebrations are important. They are beacons of light at the end of long, dark tunnels. That baby who won’t stop screaming every night eventually has a bar or bat mitzvah (or communion or other milestone events that I am unaware of — please forgive my ignorance). We look forward to the bar or bat mitzvah because it signifies that we have mastered toilet training (hopefully) and temper tantrums in public (hopefully) and chocolate on the carpet (hopefully), which, unfortunately, sometimes turns out not to be chocolate….We get to this milestone where we can celebrate a measure of growth in our child’s development, we can celebrate with people we love/tolerate being with — and then there is always the good food. (As you know, with me it always comes back to food.) We make speeches that make all of our children straight A and perfectly behaved students. We hear the school’s principal make the same speech with a different kid’s name read in the appropriate spots — you all know the drill.
In any event, in a world where so many tragic and sad things happen, celebrations become a goal. This week, Son #1 graduated college. Some might think that the milestone for me is that my child is culminating the majority of his academic career. And the truth is that it is a huge accomplishment (especially with having two academically challenged parents) — but for me it is a different accomplishment. I always feel that the sign of a really good writer is honesty. Putting it all out there for people to read. And as much as some of you might think I have done that, it isn’t the case. And I am still not ready to do it in this column yet.
But I will say that Son #1 graduating college has been a totally different experience for me then when my parents experienced their eldest child graduating college. I also will say that I am grateful for the difference, and I hope that Son #1 continues to follow the path that he has set for himself, even though I think wearing black and white all of the time is quite boring. Sometimes, you need a little color — in your wardrobe, in life — but he is an adult now and he will have to learn those things for himself. Where is the real celebration? One tuition down and only two to go!!!! (Just kidding, Son #1, we are very proud of you.)
Another celebration that is happening this week is the royal wedding. Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle. I cannot believe that her party planner didn’t consult with me, and is making this wedding on Shabbos. Are you kidding me? How can I get away with accidentally leaving the television on? (I can’t.) An American, divorced, former Deal or No Deal model is marrying a PRINCE!!!! And I am missing it!!! That is the epitome of celebration — for Americans, anyway. I cannot imagine that the House of Windsor is too happy about it…
But can you imagine? I have said before that in the case of Prince William and Kate, Kate’s mom knew how to handle her daughter. The restraint it must have taken not to fall apart after they broke up — that Kate really played her cards right, and she got her prince. But Meghan?? You go girl! She is pushing 40 and she is walking down that aisle to a man who is worth billions of dollars and fifth in line to throne! And I can’t watch it! And all the drama with her family — does she talk to her siblings? Is her father walking her down the aisle? Drama drama drama — just like a real person, and she is going to be a princess! With an American accent! God save the Queen….
OK, now that I have recovered about not being able to watch the wedding, back to celebrations. Celebrating the holiday of Shavuot is upon us. My non-religious friend asked me what the meaning of this holiday is and this is what I told her. Son #1 and Son #2 (and any Judaic studies teacher that I have had in the past who reads this) please forgive me in advance for my take on this yom tov. Shavuot is the holiday of cheesecake because we didn’t know about all of the laws regarding meat until after we got the Torah. Which happened on this holiday. So, basically, we are celebrating cheesecake. And blintzes. And quiche. And if you don’t like my explanation, then you don’t have to eat any of those foods.
But just remember how precious celebrations are, and perhaps you will reconsider. Unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant — and that is an entirely different column.
Banji Ganchrow is a fan of cheesecake, which is probably surprising to some of you since she eats so healthy the rest of the year…#idrinktab #yestheystillmakeit