Monday, June 24, 2013

The Minutes and the Hours and the Days Pass By…

Dear The Mums,

Today strikes me as a real “circle of life” day. 

Ian and "His Monica"
I got up early and was out the door by 8 a.m. to head to the West Village for Ian’s graduation from P.S. 41.  It’s hard to believe that the little boy with the baby face who started kindergarten there six years ago is moving on to middle school.  I know I’m biased (as you would be, too), but he’s tall and good-looking, a great baseball player and teammate, as well as a wonderful mimic, but still a sweet, kind and polite kid.  He loves Legos, drawing, riding his scooter, Sponge Bob, and hanging out with his friends (and "his Monica").  I think that’s how you turn out when everyone loves you.

The morning’s festivities were more like a wonderful assembly than a graduation, and I thought it was nice that the kids didn’t wear those cheesy polyester gowns with the matching mortarboards because you could really see their personalities in the clothes they wore (or that their mothers made them wear!).  Ian wore a “nice shirt”—a plaid button down, with khaki shorts and sneakers, an outfit that was similar to what many of his friends were wearing.  Some kids wore suits and ties, others jeans, but I especially loved the sweet dresses—adorned with flowers and lace—that many of the girls wore.

Jack T. and Ian
You would have loved the whole thing, sheping nachas and bursting your buttons from beginning to end.  As the kids processed in by class, America the Beautiful played in the background.  We weren’t really listening though, just looking for Ian and waving wildly when we saw him.  Once they were all seated on the stage facing us, we rose for the Pledge of Allegiance and then listened as the kids sang the P.S. 41 Song.  Then came a few speakers:  the principal, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the head honchos of the PTA, and the assistant principal, who presented an award to a student whose unknown theater arts talents were uncovered at P.S. 41. Then the kids sang Imagine by John Lennon and, with all those formalities out of the way, the teachers from each class presented the certificates of promotion to each student as his or her name was called.  When Ian's name was called, I leaned over to Monica and said, "Bubbe would be so proud."  Once the last graduate—Salenne Wolfe—had picked up her certificate, there was lots of whooping it up and a few tears, mostly from Monica and Amy.  The ceremony ended with the entire class singing Shy, from Once Upon a Mattress, which was the  fifth-grade production, and serves as a rite of passage for the kids as much as, if not more than, this morning’s graduation.  After the graduates recessed to the cafeteria, we all followed for hugs and photos.
Henry P. and Ian

Meanwhile, Daddy also got up early because sadly, he and Aunt Bea went to Ray’s funeral this morning.  He’d been in hospice for a few weeks with failing kidneys, and died yesterday at 83.  You know that had I been able, I would have gone with Daddy, but I believe that had the two processions intersected, the funeral would have yielded to the graduates, and I thought it best to be with Amy, Ian and Monica (and John, Carla, Nolan (Ian's little brother), and Carla's mother) on this milestone day.  However, I will do my best to make a shiva call later this week.

And so it goes, The Mums.  Ian’s moving on to middle school and Ray’s joining you wherever you are.  Although I’m not sure you’ll see him in the yeshiva where I'm sure you're spending lots of time, I do hope you’ll connect with Ray and be able to enjoy some of his gastronomic delights. 

As Rabbis Ken Chasen and Josh Zweiback, the singing duo known as Mah Tovu, tell us in the chorus of their song “Round and Round:”

Every morning the sun comes up
And every evening the sun goes down
It’s a beautiful thing the way it all works together
And the world goes round and round
The minutes and the hours and the days pass by
Months turn to years, but I don’t know why
God makes it all happen right before our eyes
And the world goes round and round 

Indeed it does…and I miss you more with each spin of the earth on its axis and with each of its trips around the sun.

~ Boo!