Lately I feel like the Energizer bunny on speed.
The day before Rosh Hashana my five year old was sitting in the back seat of the car, along for the ride to take his older brother to baseball. As I drove along, lost in my own thoughts, he kept repeating over and over again, “Mommy, I need a haircut.”
I kept answering him in the automatic reply way that mothers who are thinking about a million other things tend to reply, “Yes, yes. Ok.”
After a few repeated attempts to get my attention I finally actually heard him, and I looked up at his reflection in my rear-view mirror and noticed how much his hairdo resembled that of a caveman’s. I quickly turned into the shopping plaza of the yishuv where I live and we all piled out of the car and quickly ran over to the barber to beg him to have mercy on me and my shaggy boys even though we hadn’t made an appointment and it was the day before chag. Luckily he knows me and was willing to go that extra mile to help me out.
You see, “A day in the life of” for a single mom consists of a lot of running from place to place, appointment to appointment, car troubles, leg pain, kids in their new school schedules, mealtimes, homework, cleaning, laundry, more feeding, emotional support, work, home, work, home. Now, try to fit in a personal maintenance appointment somewhere in there and what do you get?
A crazy mama.
And so as the New Year came without warning and left in all its glory, we now find ourselves immersed in those ten days of introspection, reflection, and repentance that span the days between the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement. I find myself wondering how exactly I can successfully be introspective when that basically means having a meaningful, flowing, and connected thought that lasts for more than 30 seconds, without any interruptions.
On the other hand, without needing to give much thought to it, I am able to have a very clear and lucid overwhelming feeling of appreciation for all the people who make my life sweet and meaningful.
A single parent always needs a backup team, a team comprised of folk within a 5 mile radius (or even virtual supporters) who are willing to pull a favor out of their party hats when needed and bend over backwards just like Tatiana Lysenko to help out when we are in a bind.
Just like the barber who cut my boys hair last minute or that friend who will always give me a lift when I am stuck. Just like those family members who are always there to lend a listening ear or to sit with me when I am waiting for something to happen. Just like my friends who make me feel young and beautiful and never alone.
To all my homies: I send out my love to each and every one of you and wish you all a meaningful fast and a wonderful new year.
May the coming year bring with it a multitude of blessings so colorful and rich that even the best that we imagined for ourselves isn’t good enough.