What did you learn?
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What did you learn?

It has been a year.

Yup, an entire year since the world as we knew it changed forever. A year since the fear of running out of toilet paper surpassed our fear of getting pulled over for a traffic violation. Because you cannot get pulled over for a traffic violation if you can’t leave your house, but you can run out of toilet paper if you can’t leave your house. So there you go.

A whole year of experiencing things we thought we could only see in movies. And speaking of movies, I am wondering when the first film based on this pandemic will be coming out, and if Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep will star in it. Ahh, things to look forward to. Watching a movie, in a theater — remember movie theaters?

Can’t believe it has been a year.

When New Year’s Eve rolls around (or Rosh Hashanah for all of you oreos out there), we take the time to reflect on the year that has passed. What we could have done differently, what we will try to do differently in the year to come. How can we become better people? You know the drill. So I decided to delve into what have we learned this year. Or, more specifically, what I have learned this year, since it is all about me.

The first thing I learned is how grateful I am that I didn’t have any kids in elementary school during this year and I give a huge congratulations to all of the parents who did not give their kids up for adoption during this very stressful time. I remember what homework time was like and the thought of having those adorable monkeys home all day long, trying to keep them focused on Zoom school and then have them still be home when they had to do the homework based on what they learned in Zoom school — well the thought of how that might have ended is just to terrifying to think about so, again, all of you parents deserve some sort of award or a vacation. Or both.

I also learned that makeup really isn’t necessary. This made me very happy because it validated my feelings, as I have always thought that makeup wasn’t necessary (and whether I need it or not is beside the point). I am sure that there are still some women, well, probably more than some, who still enjoy putting on a full face of makeup — only to have it be demolished by the ever-present mask. Lipstick has become totally irrelevant. It gets all over the mask and then all over your face.

It has been a great year.

Let’s see, what else have we learned? Here’s one — people don’t know how to follow directional arrows. I mean the arrows on the floor of the supermarket. You can see them as clear as day. And yet there are people walking in the wrong direction. Why? Why can’t you just follow the arrows? It isn’t rocket science. I hope the kids who are learning in Zoom school are being taught how to follow directional arrows, so if they are ever allowed in the supermarket again, they will know which way to go. I don’t think that is asking a lot, but, what can you do..

I have also learned that I love spending time with my kids (which of course includes Dil #1). There is something to be said for spending time with your adult-ish children. The conversation and discussion might not always go as smoothly as you want, since everyone has their own opinion and thought process. But it is really nice to get to have those conversations anyway, because life goes by really fast and this year really taught everyone that slowing down and enjoying the people around you is a real privilege. I think about all of the fathers and mothers who work hundreds of hours a week and come home to very brief time with their kids and how hard that is for them. I can only hope that this year was a real gift to them as well. The gift of being able to see your kids grow up.

What have you learned this past year? That you are good at baking? That you are good at checking in on your elderly neighbors? That you enjoy watching 12 hours of television without having to go to the bathroom? I would love for you to share some of those things with me.

And as for the next year? Let’s hope we can lose the masks and find our smiles again. (That is, of course, if you ever smiled in the first place…)

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is looking forward to learning even more things from her adult-ish children over the Passover holiday.

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