Shana Tova! A Happy and Sweet New Year to everyone who is celebrating tonight (and tomorrow, and the day after that.)
This time last year I was up at a cottage, making sugar cookies shaped like shofars and preparing a pretty simple festive meal for the six of us. Tonight I’m hosting our parents and Mr. D’s brother (all fully vaccinated,) and I’ve just put the finishing touches on a lemon cake for dessert. It’s in keeping with my theme for the year: When life gives you lemons, make something sweet out of it, but not lemonade—you can do something more creative than just lemonade with lemons, you know.
Because the Jewish calendar is an oddly modified lunar calendar, the holidays always stay in their respective seasons but move around a fair bit within them. Rosh Hashana is always in the fall, but sometimes it’s as early as September second, or as late as the beginning of October. This year it’s “early” which is a little bit laughable because it’s right on time—the first of Tishrei—but it’s coming right on the heels of summer, and it feels like it’s too soon. I’m not ready.
Take clothes, for example. It’s been so long since it actually mattered what anyone wore, and my kids have been growing like weeds. This means that I haven’t even thought about what they’d wear for the holidays this year. E and R are covered, thanks to the gorgeous dresses that they’ve been handed down from K; K has her dress from her bat mitzvah, which is a wrap dress that fits many sizes, so she’s got something; this leaves N.
N has always been resistant to clothes that aren’t soft and comfy. He does kind of like wearing a tie, but he’s not keen on dress pants. As a result, I haven’t bought him any, instead allowing him to wear a pair of plain black sweatpants for shabbat and other holidays with the family. He used to have button-up shirts that fit him but right now his tuxedo-print t-shirts are probably the fanciest shirts in his closet. I have no idea what he’s going to wear to the small, distanced family service we’re attending tomorrow. I’m chalking this up to COVID: as with so many other things, I’m having to relearn things (like the fact that clothes shopping for the holidays needs to happen in August) from what my kids call “the before times.”
Relearning and unlearning have been front and centre for me this year: a year of change and growth for me personally and for us as a family. I feel honoured that you have chosen to read along with our failures and our triumphs. May we all have a sweet and good year and share many laughs and frustrations together. Shana Tova.