family fun · Holidays Jewish and holidays not. · Jewy goodness · Kids · The COVID files

Day 201: A Tradition is Born

Some of my best ideas happen when good ideas just won’t come.

I wasn’t sure what we were doing with the kids today, but I wanted them home with us for the first couple of days of Sukkot, so no sleepovers at the grandparents’.

The problem was this: we couldn’t go to synagogue (stupid COVID), we couldn’t invite a bunch of friends to our sukkah (stupid COVID), and we couldn’t visit anybody else’s sukkah (COVID again.) That was pretty much it for stuff people do on Sukkot. So when Mr. December asked me what my plan was for today, my brain said:

” … “

So I blurted out the first thing I could think of. “There’s a cool tree in the ravine that’s super-climbable, and we’re going to walk to it and play there. And later we’ll have a movie night.” Movie night? That’s kind of inane, said the voice in my head, and what does it have to do with Sukkot, anyway?

At least the tree climbing idea was a good one. We went with R’s only friend who isn’t attending school in person, and all the kids loved the tree. They spent a couple of hours doing all the things that make my heart sing when I see them: exploring the forest, climbing trees, climbing rocks, and working as a team to conquer the obstacles in their way. I even caught some of those moments on camera:

I was formulating my plan for movie night as we watched the kids and chatted. “Maybe I’ll do movie night in the sukkah,” I mused to our friends. “We have a projector and I can add a white sheet to the canvas walls. But what can we sit on that’s comfy?”

It finally occurred to me that we have a queen-sized air mattress with a built-in pump (it truly doesn’t get any easier than this thing). If I moved the table and bench over and set the mattress adjacent to the house…

The setup took me about half an hour, including making two batches of stovetop popcorn. Then, with the twinkle lights on and the main lights off, we settled onto the air mattress with duvets, blankets, and popcorn to watch Meet the Robinsons.

“So?” I asked the kids after the movie ended, “How did you like our Sukkah Screening under the Stars? Should we do it again?”

“YEAH!” “It was good.” “We should do it EVERY Sukkot!”

So that’s that. What began as a fairly banal suggestion turned into a great evening of snuggling, snacking, and snickering, and now the children have declared it to be our new tradition. It seems crazy that it might not have happened if I’d been able to come up with a good idea instead.

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