Twenty-three years ago, at the beginning of sixth grade, I started keeping a daily journal. Every day since then I have faithfully taken time to write about the events that transpired, and there’s currently a huge storage bin full of notebooks in my basement to prove it. It’s amazing to go back and read about nearly everything of consequence that has ever happened to me. Perhaps the most interesting thing is to go back and read myself, at various points in my life, describing events and experiences in almost real time.
It’s an incredible reminder that once upon a time, all of us were kids. And I use that word loosely. I’m 34 and am still in many ways a big kid.
Except that now I have four of my own.
The story of how my wife and I met in a Brandeis basement, eventually got married, and then had a family is far too long for one blog post, so I’ll skip most of the good stuff. Suffice to say that eleven years ago, I hopped off an airplane from Israel, moved into an apartment across from the 99 Restaurant in Waltham with my soon-to-be-fiancée, and things just started happening.
Unlike most of our friends, we married young, and had kids young. So while we missed out on most of the 20- and 30-something stuff that most young adults get involved in, we did and do have the joy of experiencing the newness and specialness of our children’s first experiences while we are still fairly young.
There’s nothing like seeing my children begin to love the same things I did when I was a kid. Going to Fenway, visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching Disney movies I grew up with… all of these things show how our passions, loves, and traditions have been passed on to the next generation. It’s remarkable to go back and read about how I felt and reacted to those things when I was just a little bit older than they are.
And as our children have grown up it’s also been incredible to see how they have grown to love not only the Red Sox and Kiss 108, but also things that are a little more…sacred, like Hakafot at Simchat Torah, Prozdor Shabbatonim at Yavneh, apples and honey, lighting Chanukah candles, eating matza fry Israel, and sitting in the back of the sanctuary with their father on the high holy days, just like he did as a kid.
As the Book of Life is sealed tomorrow night at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, I look forward to continuing to chronicle not only my own life’s journey, but those of my children, in the coming year.
Gmar chatimah tovah.
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