July 22, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 22, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

My middle child, son #2, is leaving the nest to go to learn in Israel for the year. The school he picked is a pretty serious one, one that makes me question if I am really his birth mother. The school he picked also is a fan of white shabbos shirts, as opposed to the blue ones that he favors (and match his eyes). Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with his choice and proud of him for getting accepted; it just makes me laugh that I have a kid who is a serious learner, when I still favor a good Calvin and Hobbes cartoon and a marathon session of Beverly Hills 90210 (the original series, not the remake, heaven forbid).

Experts tell me that I should expect him to stay for at least two years. I would like to punch these so-called experts in the face. These experts are the same moms that think they are experts on everything. You know the kind of mother of which I speak. What about reverse psychology? Tell him that I would love for him to stay as long as he would like, in the hope that he will decide to only stay for the shortest amount of time possible? Nope, I can’t risk it. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Parenting books should all be thrown out. We try our best to keep them safe and in one piece but really, it is not in our control at all. My older son only stayed one year. I can only hope that his brother will follow his lead. But what do I know? I am only the mother. That brings me to the miraculous event that has occurred this summer.

Sons #2 and 3 were in the same camp and son #1 was a counselor on a program in Israel. Son #1 got off the plane and, less than 12 hours and three minyans later, headed up to camp for the weekend to be with sons 2 and 3. It didn’t even bother me that son #1 didn’t want to spend time with his parents. It didn’t even faze me that I had to stay up all night doing laundry so he would have clean clothes to take with him because he wanted to be with his brothers. Oh My God—maybe I did something right that they all want to be together? Or, maybe they really don’t like me and would rather be together. Hmm, I will choose the former.

And then, to make me feel even better about my parenting, the three of them are all going to the same hockey camp for a week; two as counselors and one as a camper. Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but as I mentioned before, son #2 is leaving for the year to Israel. Two days after he comes home from said hockey camp. This means that I have to do a summer’s worth of laundry and then shop and pack him for at least a year in a foreign country. Now I love my middle child, as I do all of my children, but he is a boy. A boy who doesn’t like to answer my questions, doesn’t tell me what he needs, and even if he does need something, he doesn’t care if he has it or not. Like the summer he spent wearing sneakers that were duct-taped together because he didn’t want me to spend money on new ones. Endearing, yes, Frustrating? Definitely. Of course husband #1 loved the fact that he didn’t want new sneakers, but that is for another column.

But like Haley’s Comet, a perfect rainbow, or other events that don’t happen every day, the mere fact that my three sons all want to spend so much time together until the band breaks up for a little while (hopefully), makes my heart fill with love and my eyes well with tears. Because for every, “You are so annoying,” “Leave me alone” and exaggerated eye roll, they all really love each other and that means my job is done. Ok, I know that isn’t true, but please let me have my moment. Especially since son #2’s new favorite line is, “This is the last time I do this before I leave for Israel for the next three or four years.”

So, my dear son #2, learn well, be safe and know that no matter what decisions you make in life, your brothers are always your best friends, your father will always drive you anywhere and please remember to call me or I will hunt you down and have every single person who goes to Israel call you so I know that you are okay.

Banji Ganchrow will be celebrating the marriage of her fourth son and his wife in the holy city of Toronto. The best kind of wedding is the one you don’t have to pay for! MazelTov Ilan and Margalit!

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles