The best thing I’ll do this week

I have the ability, like all employed people, to grumble about how frustrating my customers are: they occasionally find ways to get under my skin and leave me all itchy with complaints.  It isn’t breaking rocks in the sun, but the frustrations are real.

And my synagogue has done well, all things considered, but like any other organization, it’s got it’s ups and downs, and it is not without its share of frustrations.  

But today, I’m all sorts of sore, mostly from carrying Roya around and playing with her all day.  At Westminster Park, she crawled and climbed her way up that large twisty slide, and threw herself headfirst down it.  What followed was a look of terror followed by squeals of excitement – and the inevitable “again!”

So I’ll go forward this week, and encounter lots of daily nuisances, but am fortified by the reminder of what actually matters.

  

Everyone old is n00b again

We had some friends stay over the weekend with us, and it was delightful. They have a toddler a few months older than Roya, and I learned two things (which I assume are eye-rollingly obvious to more experienced parents):

1. No two children naturally have the same nap time. Corollary: each set of parents have different strategies for maximizing the coveted sleep.
2. Children learn from each other fast.

Their toddler walks fine, he demonstrated to Roya that stairs were possible to climb, and presto: climber monkey!

I remain awestruck by watching her figure things out – “you mean if I put my foot like this and push, I’ll be standing?” “Wait, you mean I could hold my own spoon??? Woah.”

Now all I need to figure out is how to mount a gate at the bottom of the stairs without completely wrecking the oddly-shaped railing…

Taking Care of Business (or “Don’t Wait”)

In 24 hours, I’ve been to a bar mitzvah, an engagement party, an unveiling (memorial service where a grave marker is displayed), and sent Roya & Sarah off to visit her family in Memphis (the picture is from the airport).

If this was any more “circle of life”, I’d have swarms of cartoon animals doing elaborate choreography around me.

But this got me thinking a bit on the ephemerality of the moment- we live in the unquantized “now”, and to do otherwise is considered a terrible curse (Deut 28:67). Or do we?

How present are we actually? There is a whole cottage industry right now in bemoaning how modern technology brings us out of the moment, and makes us disconnected from each other (“Look Up” is a good example of that) – although I’ve seen enough pictures of people ignoring each other on trains reading newspapers to know this isn’t truly a modern phenomenon.

But I think the essence of the thing is still true, that each of the moments we have is precious, and how we choose to spend them offers revealing insight into our characters.

So given my postulated superiority of temporal presence, what’s the actual takeaway, other than “be here now”? I think it would be “don’t wait.” Anything worth doing is worth doing now.

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Before there was Sgt Pepper

Nineteen years ago today, my life changed for the best.

I didn’t know it at the time, being a callow youth, but making a phone call at 3AM was about the best possible thing I could have done, because on the other end of that call was Sarah. We wouldn’t have actually met in person otherwise, and I’m reasonably certain we wouldn’t have started dating had we not met at that particular juncture in our lives.

Boy, I sure am glad we met when we did.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Roya is glad too.

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Now a 3AM call means something a bit different, and this kind of 3AM call, like the kind that started it all, is a worthwhile one – the kind that I’m happy to answer.

Happy anniversary, love; for this nineteen, for the nineteen to come, and the nineteens to come after that.