Tonight starts the holiday of Rosh Hashana, followed next Wednesday by Yom Kippur. This is really the start of the holiday season for us - we'll run thru the High Holidays (the aforementioned two), then Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. And then rush into Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. We've got a bunch of birthday sprinkled in there too, but for my purposes, things get crazy around mid-September and we don't stop for breath until early January. We have a big family party planned tonight and tomorrow, as well as full days at the synagogue for Monday and Tuesday. Tonight our party is at one of my husband's aunts' houses, but the party tomorrow is here. So today will be spent baking and cleaning and tomorrow afternoon, we'll be making matzoh ball soup. Jessie is in charge of all desserts, and will be whipping up whoopie pies and cake, as well as making the circular rolls that we'll be eating in honor of the New Year.
I like the thought of a New Year in the fall. It feels like a good time for a fresh start. Yesterday was the first Saturday that our Community Religious School met, Temples Sinai, Emmanuel and our synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel are merging this year into one entity for religious education. Jessie already knew a lot of the kids in her class, and is adjusting quicker. Sam is horrified about new people, and a new place, so we're taking it slow with him. Really slow, he refused to go altogether yesterday until I stayed with him, but there's a limited amount of time that Julie can sit thru a first grade religious class. We made it about an hour, and then bopped around the synagogue, meeting people and discovering little playrooms they could play in. I love the idea of the new school, but the first few weeks are always tough. Jessie is missing her old Saturdays, where it was less about school and more about a religious service. I know she'll adjust, we all will, but it's going to take some time before it feels comfortable. It helps that she really likes her teacher this year, and she's got some friends from last year in her class.
So we're all about new beginnings, all over the place. I also feel like we're entering a new phase in our family's life as well. With Sam thriving in kindergarten, Jessie entering this new "tween" stage, and Julianna out of diapers completely (including staying dry at night and when we're out and about), we're moving into a stage in our lives that's unlike any other so far. I'm not saying no to the idea of another baby, but if it does happen, it's not going to happen any time soon. It's entirely possible that we've gone from the stage where we were growing our family to where we're just raising a family. Which is kind of a dramatic change, given that for the past nine (almost ten - !!!) years, I've had a little one. Next year, I probably won't have to sit thru class with Sam, and the year after that - Julie might even be in preschool Hebrew, and then I might even be able to go and sit thru a service without having to sneak out before my kids disturb everyone. Last night, Marc and I actually dropped the kids off at my mothers and went out for coffee. Without a kid. We don't ever do that - but we can now, because they're all getting older and it's just easier. It feels right, it feels exciting and new and challenging. It's a good time to celebrate where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.
Shana Tova - best wishes for a sweet and happy New Year!