This was the third morning in a row I didn’t get a chance to shower before the day started in earnest, so I made my appointed rounds with filthy hair and a distinct aroma. (About that aroma? It stinct.) I had a few errands around the neighborhood, and off Gideon and I went, me in my pajamas, him in a stroller with a busted wheel. Every few yards, we stopped so I could reattach the errant wheel. (I am the most reliable — but least effective — stroller repair person in the world.) As I was bemusedly muttering to myself about this being early practice for my next career as a bag woman, I noticed the sunshine.
We had gone out as a family this morning and faced east to make birkat hachama. It was rushed because Akiva and Bill were on their way, respectively, to school and work, but it was nice to be outside en famille, all looking the same way and feeling the sun on our faces.
I kept walking, kept replacing the stroller wheel. I ran into an acquaintance from the neighborhood who asked if I’d found a new stroller yet. I’d posted to the neighborhood moms’ email list that I was in need of one. In fact, I haven’t yet secured a new one, but the list has already come up with five offers. Sometimes beggars can be choosers. I commented how much it warms my heart that people are so willing to help.
I kept walking, kept singing “Waltzing Matilda” to my boy. I ran into someone I’d done some volunteer work with in the past, and with whom I’d always hoped for more connection. Her relationship with the volunteer project ended abruptly and we hadn’t seen each other in over a year. In my ignorance, I’d been mildly dreading seeing her again in case things were awkward. The opposite was true, and we had a lovely chat. I felt the same warmth I’d always felt with her.
I kept walking, kept naming trees and trucks. As we rounded a corner and headed to cross the street, we had a big stroller wheel mishap, with the wheel rolling off several feet away and into a busy street. I cursed in Polish (who wouldn’t?) and pulled us back onto the sidewalk. A passerby retrieved the wheel for me; I thanked her, reattached it, and moved on again.
Tonight we will make a seder for some new friends, an on-the-fly plan that materialized when our slightly less on-the-fly plan fell through on account of illness. The day is full with preparations, anticipation, emails flying back and forth checking how kosher it’s ok (not) to be, calls to my mom to ask for guidance on the stuff she’d done for so many years without my noticing it.
Yesterday, Akiva and I were playing a board game having play money and we joked that we were rich. A few quiet moments passed, and he said, “I’m rich with friends.”
That thought keeps echoing to me as I go about this day. Sure, I sometimes look like a bag woman, but I’m rich with friends.