Perhaps it’s the madness of mid-life, or the doldrums of winter, or just plain bad luck, but I haven’t been enjoying 2013 so far. I’m sick of sickness. I’m worn out by worry. I’m besieged by bickering children. My patience has been worn to the thinnest of rags.
As a Jewish parent, I tend to feel a bit gleeful in late November. No need to brave lengthy lines. No need to explain to disappointed children why chopping down a tree isn’t an eco-friendly option. Here — at last — is the upside to my childhood envy of Yuletide merriment.
It is two days after Sandy, and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan is overrun with stir- (and storm) crazy parents and their progeny. Ruth Balinsky Friedman, however, cuts through the boisterous crowd with ease.
On the spectrum of risky behavior, I fall toward the nervous end of cautious: I’m the type who analyzes every detail of every decision, resulting in paralysis over routine matters such as purchasing a new bedspread.
The moment after my 7-year-old boards the camp bus, I’m off, sprinting toward Central Park, where my feet pummel the uneven earth of the Bridle Path, where my head pounds, and my troubles slowly retreat as I gain speed. Some days, I pray, too; silent pleas to a God I hope is listening.