Every year people ask me what day Chanukah begins and every year I tell them that it begins on the same day, The 25th of Kislev. That is the sort of joke that has a more limited audience. It is not understood by many MOTs but I am a father and entitled to tell jokes both good and bad.
This post isn’t going to provide you with chapter and verse on the proper way to celebrate Chanukah. I am not here to tell you the story about who, what, when, where, how and why. Won’t talk to you about what is required to make a Kosher menorah or how many blessings you say each night.
My focus lies elsewhere. My focus is on two children who call me dad, daddy, father, abba and sometimes “hey you.” My focus is on trying to figure out how to make sure that they don’t get caught up in the rampant consumerism that surrounds this time of year.
Gratitude and a heavy dose of appreciation is what I am thinking about- both mine and theirs.
You see this year has been challenging from start to finish. There have been a million different things that have happened and many of them have been more than your ordinary bump in the road – but the kids think of them as hiccups. At least I think that is how they view them.
I am grateful for that. I am thrilled that they don’t have a real clue as to what has been going on or some of the sleepless nights that I have experienced. Â When they hurt themselves and or are hungry they tend to look for mom but I am who they seek to take care of the monsters in the closet and the mysterious noises at night.
This is what I signed up for. This is why my parents and grandparents told me to remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint because shit happens.
I am on the fence about whether things happen for a reason but I have opened myself up to the possibilities and opportunities that the universe has to share and it has made a difference. I am just more relaxed about life and some of the challenges.
That doesn’t mean that I am not trying to steer the boat- I am the captain of my ship and not willing to let the sea throw me into the rocks. But that doesn’t mean that I am not following my own North star. That doesn’t mean that I am not doing my best to sing the song that I hear my my heart singing.
That is part of how I plan on celebrating Chanukah- I am going to sing along with the song of my heart and see what happens.
It might sound hokey to you, but I have gone to look for America.