This time of year calls for organization. Menus, food shopping for those menus, lists for the menus and the food shopping. Lists for the lists, more lists. Lots going on. For those of you with little kids, this organization involves making sure that your kids are occupied so you have time to do everything on those lists. For those with older kids, those with potential to help you with some of those lists (wait, are there kids like that? It’s too late for me, so save yourselves!!) you want to keep them happy so they will, possibly, help you — but it all depends upon how old they are. We will get back to that.
Last year I wrote a column about how Husband #1 and I made an important decision — we were going to keep our sukkah poles up all year. Now when I say “made a decision,” it more or less happened because none of our oreos could commit to helping us take them down. Son #3 was in Israel, so he was exempt (and he helped with the sukkah this year so it is all good). The poles were up. This was going to be an experiment. And, I am happy to say, the experiment worked. Our sukkah poles remained upright for the entire year. This means that Husband #1 and I had nothing to argue about between Memorial Day and Yom Kippur. Just kidding, we found other things, just not the whole “When are you getting the sukkah up?” heated conversation. It was just blissful. Sons 2 and 3 put the canvas up, Son 3# and Husband #1 put the schach up — and then it was my turn. I do the lighting and the decorations. I used to do the schach myself — I am really not sure how I ever did that. I would have my three little blue-eyed monkeys staring at me, and as I climbed the ladder I would say, “Now, if mommy falls off of the ladder, what do you do? “ They would all look at me very seriously and reply, “Dial 911.”
Fortunately, it never came to that.
Anyway, as I put up the last of the decorations, I surveyed my handiwork and realized that my sukkah now looks like a combination disco, brothel, and Judaica store (because of the “rabbi” posters my oreos beg me to hang up). It is quite the combination and photos are available upon request.
Now back to the topic at hand. Seniors in high school.
Seniors in high school have a lot going on. Aside from the whole realization that soon they will be moving out of their homes and into a world without their parents within arms’ length, it is time to apply to college. This can be quite a daunting experience (except in my house, but that is for another column.) There are few things more annoying in life than having your parents continually ask, “Did you write your essay yet? Did you fill out the applications yet?” I have a friend who, in addition to a full time job, tons of volunteer work, and being an awesome husband and father, has always loved writing. Over the years, friends have asked him for help with their kids’ college essays, and he was always happy to do it. He even helped his daughter’s friend with his medical school essay (and then the friend turned into his son-in-law, but I don’t think one thing had anything to do with the other. Though it must have been a really, really good essay!) The ability to help kids turn their ideas into well sculpted essays has been, well, transformative, and he has started a business. And though, as I have said in other columns, I don’t make a habit of putting ads in my column, when I do write about businesses, it is because I feel strongly about them. And if I can help even one parent and child get along better by recommending someone to help with their college essays, I will feel pretty darn good. And this guy is really good. And since early decision applications are due soon, this is his website: Convey-U.com. And trust me when I say that no goods or services were exchanged for this column. (And those of you who know what my oreos are up to, know that this is true.)
So in conclusion, sukkah poles can stay up all year, and remember to tell your kids that you love them even if they don’t listen to you.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck misses the days of making homemade paper chains with her brother while watching TV. Cherish the memories, kids, cherish the memories.