My name is Jack. I am the Jewish daddy blogger who is working hard to write a book and somehow is posting regularly on three blogs. Yes, that is right- three blogs. I update more than often than Lady Gaga changes clothes, what of it and what the hell has any of this got to do with Chanukah.
Well you can blame my somewhat edgy attitude on having been forced to join the hordes today in holiday shopping.Â Holiday shopping makes me misanthropic. That’s right, I said misanthropic which is a far cry from being lycanthropic.
I have to be honest and say that my initial plan was to write something far more significant and meaningful than this but Friday afternoon and amidst the holiday shoppers made me want to make like a prophet and not the kind that would stand up and praise the people. No sir, I wanted to climb up on the roof of the lady driving the Red RAV-4 with the Texas plates and tell her that this isn’t cleveland, we have order, decorum and rules here.
I wanted to climb up on the roof of Costco and tell the people that if they don’t stop their stampede for free food fire and brimstone would rain down from the sky like manna from heaven. I wanted to scream at the people in the Trader Joes parking lot to slow down because there simply aren’t enough parking spaces and running me over won’t get you inside any faster.
Instead you will face the wrath of the angry Jewish daddy blogger who will post your picture online and mock you for trying to look cool with a big black thing in your teeth. Yes, I am talking about you lady with the Indiana University sweatshirt. Maybe black things in your teeth are cool in Bloomington but they aren’t here.
Have I mentioned yet that it is Chanukah or that my friend Benji wrote the Idiots guide to Chanukah. Go read it and leave a comment telling him I sent you over there. But don’t forget to come back here.
Here where I will tell you that I hate toys that make noise, but not as much as the people that give said toys to my children. You who provide them with things that beep, whistle and wail are on my list. One day very soon you will wake up in the middle of the night wondering why there is a marching band playing outside your window and then you will remember it is because I sent them there.
I sent them because you gave my child a toy that beeps, wails and whistles. I sent them because you are responsible for the headache that I am currently experiencing and misery loves company.
Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll remember the magic and joy of watching the faces of my children light our menorah. Maybe I’ll remember listening to my daughter tell me that she has toys to give away to kids who don’t have some. Or maybe I’ll remember listening to my son tell me the story about why we celebrate and the questions he asked afterwards.
Because those questions showed me that he isn’t just looking for gifts. He is thinking about his life, his family and the world around him. You see 2011 was filled with all sorts of chaos in our life. We sold our home and moved into temporary housing and he knows that we will be moving again real soon.
He knows that life is filled with challenges and changes and wonders whether turning 11 next week will mark the beginning of magical and mysterious year or something less than that.
Chanukah reminds him that some things don’t change. Family celebrations can take place in different places and these moments in time that he recalls can be special in places that are less familiar. Chanukah reminds him even though life feels a bit upside down and inside out it is not as crazy as he thought.
The dark haired beauty is certain of this too. She wasn’t so sure at first but now she is beginning to sing a different song. And me, well I rant about the hordes because it irritates me to be hit by shopping carts pushed at breakneck speed by people who don’t care what is going on around them. And because I am just grumpy.
But amidst the chaos and craziness I am grateful too. We are healthy, happy and hopeful. Good things are happening now and more are just around the corner. Chanukah sameach to my friends, family and fellow MOTs. I wish you all lots of love and laughter and hope you enjoy your own miracle of lights.