I’m feeling slightly shakey today, thanks to too much excitement in the past week. Grandpa’s birthday was just the start of a whole string of virtual and real social events (including my epic making hair cut) and now I am feeling all mentally/emotionally exhausted. I don’t know about you, but I have found the only way I can stay sane right now is to focus on little things. I can’t handle thinking about big global changes, but I can focus on little tiny local changes and accept them as part of how life is always changing. As though I was a little kid, just seeing the world right in front of me, and the little changes around me.
My building has not changed. It’s an old courtyard building, mostly full of families, and the center courtyard always has kids playing in it. There’s the family from Mexico with the 4 kids, the maintenance guy from Turkey’s daughter, the little desi girl from across the street, and the cool teenagers who sometimes hang out in front when their families get to be too much for them. In the past 6 months, none of that has altered, the kids still play together outside, the teenagers hang out, the dogwalkers (like me), move through and nod at people.
But a couple of days ago when I was walking the dog I noticed something in the bedroom window of the maintainance guy’s little girl,
My nephew is a baby still, his world is always going to be extremely tiny. He has taught himself how to walk, and he likes going around sorting things, carrying his books from one side of the room to the other, and especially sorting clean laundry (luckily his world is filled with laundry baskets and laundry), carrying socks and dishclothes from one basket to another.
My sister just sent a message last night that one of his new favorite games is figuring out how masks work. He gets them from the laundry and then walks across the room and shoves them on his mother’s face because that is where they belong.
I live in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Chicago, and Rosh Hoshanah is coming today. There’s the usual strange indefinable feeling of excitement in the air that tells me a holiday is on the way, and I am seeing people walk around late at night as they go back and forth to relatives’ houses helping with preparations. But what’s different is little signs that have started popping up on corners, “Come Hear the Shofar”.
This year, a volunteer organization is going all over the city to blow the Shofar on corners so folks can safely gather in the street and hear it on Rosh Hoshanah.
Tomorrow I am going to a wedding, through a Facebook Live video. It’s my coworker, she got the wedding dress delivered to the office, was waiting for a confirmation phone call from the venue at work, and so on, so I feel like I’ve been part of this wedding for the whole year it has been planned. She’s still getting married on the same day at the same place (a city park), she’s even wearing the same dress she always planned (super cheap looking, and then she dyed it grey and now it is pretty).
But it’s going to be a wedding with only 6 people there, no relatives at all (too far away, too dangerous to travel), and afterwards the “reception” will be her and her new husband eating pizza and cupcakes together before driving to an air B n’ B for their solitary honeymoon.
So, on the whole, little kids are still playing and drawing pictures, babies are still trotting around figuring out how their world works, Rosh Hoshanah is still happening, and people are getting married. Just a little bit different this year. I can handle that, I can handle little differences.