Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eight Crazy Nights

I don't think it's a secret that I'm of a religious minority but it's also not something I broadcast, either. Sadly it's because there are a LOT of Anti-Semitic people in the world. I've been told I was going to hell from more Christians than I care to say. I'm not even that religious... it's more cultural. But I identify with being Jewish and hope to raise my son in my (and my husband's) faith. Dude is much more lapsed than I am, so it will be primarily up to me.

So I'm starting small. Chanukah. The festival of lights. The eight crazy nights (thanks Adam Sandler) where we give presents to our children to make them feel less slighted about Santa not dropping presents off on Christmas Eve. Chanukah (or Hanukkah) is a relatively minor holiday and is not very religious. It commemorates a miracle where, after a war, oil in the temple lasted for eight nights when it should not have lasted for even one. At least that's what I remember and I'm too lazy to Google right now to find a better description.

It started on Sunday, with our family celebration (a few days early, but Dude's sister's family was off on vacation this week and we didn't want to travel on Christmas). Little Man, I think, was overwhelmed by all the chaos—his 6 cousins and aunts, uncles, grandparents and tons of presents. But on Tuesday night, he GOT it. PRESENTS!

We lit the menorah, and he started singing "Happy Birthday to you."  Not so clearly as I wrote it, but definitely understandable. And then he asked to "blow can-ell" and I had to say it wasn't a birthday cake. But it does make sense that he'd make that association.  And Dude and I presented him with his BIG present from us.  The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse play set, which is no longer available on Disney's website. He gets so excited. OPEN! OPEN!  So we do and set it up and...

There are several parts missing!!!

What do I do?  It was sold out? But I call Disney and, lo and behold, there are 5 in stock and they are sending a replacement along with a return label (or so I thought) for the broken one—which I cannot pack up now, as my two-year-old is OBSESSED with Mickey.  I am thrilled.  But today I was less so when UPS arrives at my door to retrieve the defective set before I got the replacement (which arrives tomorrow). I'm like: sorry! And I convince the UPS guy to give me the return label to send back on Monday. I hope the new one has all the parts.

Yesterday my oldest friend, who I met when we were in 7th grade, got Little Man a Huffy Mickey tricycle! I was so excited! Little Man didn't get a trike for his birthday, like I'd hoped (and thought, but I should never expect a present and know that). So he wanted that opened too. Thankfully I convinced him to wait (and hid the box in the garage) for daddy.

Here is Little Man "texting while tricycling" in my Family Room. (He's playing the Zoola app on my old iPod Touch, which has become his phone.) I love this boy!

Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

70 Years Ago Today

This 1941 photo shows the U.S. Pacific Fleet as it burns in its home base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii after Japanese warplanes made a surprise attack. / AFP / Getty Images

Friday, December 2, 2011

If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything. ...

I agree but disagree.  My friend from college, Dave, found out early last month that he has cancer. Today he is having an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg. And he is, to me, so brave and upbeat. I'm sure that a lot of that is only part of how he feels--because I can only imagine how scared he is. He has two amazing sons and a wonderful family to support him. Plus his many friends. And I'm not necessarily a close friend. The last time I saw him was at a mutual friend's birthday party two years ago, when my son was only 3 months old. But thanks to Facebook, I've "kept in touch" and have followed his ups and downs.

So while he may not have his health right now, I think he has everything--and I want him to have everything. I hope it's OK with him that I share his blog (as he's en route to the hospital for his surgery, I cannot ask at this time and will delete the link if needed). He's simply amazing, I think. And I am grateful that I know him.

Cancer sucks.  It really does. My late maternal grandfather battled lung cancer. My late maternal grandmother died from cancer, too. Breast cancer that spread. A childhood friend lost his first wife at the age of 30 to colon cancer. Another college friend lost his mother to colon cancer too. Sadly, several of my friends have lost parents, at an early age to cancer.

But I also know several cancer survivors. Most from Breast Cancer. But I am positive that my friend Dave will be one too--a survivor.