May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

By the time you read this, my world would have been restored to normal. I will be waking my three man/boys up to go to synagogue. I will be taking orders for specific food items. I will be up to my nose in smelly camp laundry. The vacuum will be going, the dust will not have time to settle, there will be some sort of baseball game on the television, possibly some wrestling on the family room floor. Cups will be left on the table, dishes on the counter, crumbs all over the place, cabinet doors left open, beds unmade, boxer shorts on the bathroom floor because, really, why do they need to go into a hamper when they magically get picked up and end up in the washing machine, dryer and then back into the culprit’s room? Yes, this is my normal. There is nothing like the sweet sound of the word “mom” being said over and over and over and over again; especially when it is followed by the phrase “can you….?”

The summer of quiet is over. Sure, there have been ups and downs—no summer is ever perfect. My 20th anniversary trip to Italy, Alaska, Bermuda and South Dakota (really want to see Mount Rushmore, don’t know why) did not happen; something about tuition and mortgage payments. And that is ok. For the most part, it was a great summer; certainly less stressful than last summer when we were all worried about what was going on in Israel. Or when I was worried about the burns my son acquired on his summer program to Israel that wasn’t.

I got to roam the city and see beautiful art. I got to walk on the High Line and people watch. Saw the ocean, went swimming and didn’t get harpooned, painted two masterpieces…it was a lovely few weeks. And then there are always the lessons that we learn (actually, that happens during winter, spring and fall as well), people who disappoint, who lie and then on the other hand, people who come through for you and build yourself esteem. Blah blah blah…who really cares, right? I am just babbling and I apologize.

I am putting off the inevitable here. My firstborn is starting college, my middle child is going to be a senior and my baby is going to be a freshman in high school…I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!!

Yes, I know that some of you reading this are grandparents and have been through these milestones and I know that some of you are just excited that your little ones have learned how to use the toilet this summer, but holy moses, I am not ready for college. I am not ready for my little one to start high school and I am certainly not ready to start the countdown for my middle one to go to Israel for the year. NO NO NO.

This hasn’t been the summer of quiet; it has been the summer of denial. I see ads for school supplies and realize I have no idea what they need. Do I buy some notebooks and risk them saying, “Mom, we have computers; what do we need notebooks for?” I am at a total loss. I think back to the summer when my neighbor and I did the school supply challenge. Every week we would find items we needed from the very detailed list the school sent us. One-cent notebooks—check; one-cent pencils—check; 10—cent marble notebooks that we would buy every year and they would only use two pages of—check. If you ordered through the school it would be upwards of $30, if you did it our way it was less than $10. No, I didn’t account for the amount of money one spent on gas going to three different stores every week. Please don’t ruin this for me.

Point is, this summer I look at the school supply ads with a glazed expression. College. College? He doesn’t shave and he is going to college? Flashback to his first day of nursery school when we looked at him like he was going off to college…Yes, the summer of denial. I guess if I could survive his year in Israel, I can certainly survive him only being over the George Washington Bridge. And then he informed me that he is coming home every weekend, so there is that to look forward to. And before you know it, it will be the summer again. Breathe in, breathe out, enjoy the moments.

Banji Ganchrow is a self-proclaimed writer who watched a lot of reruns of NYPD Blue, and when she found herself in a police precinct this summer returning someone’s driver’s license she was hoping to run into Sipowicz.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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