July 20, 2024
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July 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

People are competitive. It starts when when we are little and we come home from the hospital. “My baby was 22 inches long. The doctor said he has never seen such a tall baby before.” “Well my baby was 18 inches long, but he came out smiling. The doctor said he has never seen that before.” “My baby actually knocked on my uterus and asked permission to come out. The doctor said…” Yup. That is where it starts. And then, it gets worse. “My 6-month-old rolled backwards and forwards.” “My 6-month-old pulled herself to a standing position.” “My 6-month-old ordered Chickies!” Seriously? “My child was speaking full sentences before his first birthday.” “My child designed an App that changes diapers.” “My 13-month-old has an internship at the CIA..shh, don’t tell anyone, it is top secret.” Where they are on the growth chart, who knows their alphabet first, the number of things parents can get competitive about is endless.

What is it about competition? It doesn’t matter if you have the most money, the most property, the most hair, because, in the end, we all end up in the same place. But there are folks that just thrive on the thrill to compete. To be better, stronger and faster than the next person. I am just happy to be able to get out of bed and make it to the bathroom. But I never realized how much competition we are surrounded by until a wedding I was recently at. A wedding, of all things. A time where friends and family get together for a good meal, some good dancing, free drinks and the chance to start anew. I was just minding my own business, sitting on the aisle of the back row (which is my favorite seat because you have the best view of the wedding party) and the lady next to me started to chat. We established I was there for the groom and she was there for the bride—we were still tied. The bride’s family is so, so wonderful. Such special people. Pillars of the community. OK. Three points for you. But wait, the groom’s family are so, so charitable, doers of extraordinary chesed and really good people. Still tied.

The bride’s parents are marrying off their last child, what about the groom? Nope, he is the first in his family to get married. Just lost a point. The bride is becoming a doctor, what does the groom do? Umm, the groom will be attending graduate school (maybe). Think I just lost another point. The woman starts glaring at me. The bride is such a special young lady—really, really special. Two more points. Well the groom has a heart of gold and he is such a great young man. Game over. Bride wins. All that matters is that they are healthy and happy; then everyone is a winner. (Though not according to this lady, apparently.)

And then we come back to the topic of who is the best parent. I touched upon this last week when I spoke of not knowing my first-born son was not living in the dorm. I was too preoccupied with my dad and son #2 leaving for Israel. I accepted the fact that I was no longer the best mom in the world. Son #2 has been in Israel for about two weeks. Hopefully he won’t be annoyed with me for what I am about to write (though if he is, I guess he can just add it to the list), but he was having some pangs of uncertainty. This, of course, is perfectly normal. We put our kids on a plane and send them 6000 miles from home to learn. What are they learning? No one can give me a definitive answer, but I know for sure it isn’t about basic household repairs or chores. In any event, I was browsing through Facebook and came across Bubbie’s Babkas. I went on the site and it was so warm and inviting that I had to place an order. Because what do you do when you feel that your son isn’t on top of his game? You send him baked goods because food is love.

Bonnie Rosenbaum, the Bubbie behind Bubbie’s babkas, could not have been more accommodating to this crazy mother. And when son #2 received the package, I could almost see his smile through his watsapp message. And the best part, some mothers approached me and said things like, “I cannot believe you sent your son a package already, I guess I am going to have to do that now too so I don’t feel like a bad mom.” Yes ladies, I am winning…ha ha. Not such a bad mom after all, am I? Ok, Bubbie gets the credit and if you have a kid in Israel, you can get in touch with her at [email protected]. She is also an amazing cook and has an extensive menu. Totally worth the happy kid…and that is all that matters!

Banji Ganchrow is still trying to figure out why she only has one son living at home. Where did everybody go???

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