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05/04/2020 04:31:37 PM


Melinda Hilsenrath

When this pandemic began, all of our children returned home. Ariel's bedroom became her classroom (She is a Preschool teacher), Grant's bedroom was transformed into his accounting office, the kitchen was Erica's domain where she completed her first semester of Stern College online, while Steven set up an additional table in the dining room, and I began to provide teletherapy in the basement.

Our new normal includes family dinner every night. In the last 28 years we only had family dinners on shabbos and special occasions because Steven kept late hours at the office. Now, nightly, at 7pm we are at the table eating and talking about our days. It is challenging creating new dinners for five of us every single day of the week. I also need to think about having leftovers as some of us eat the prior night’s dinner for lunch the next day.

We watch Jeopardy nightly and have movie nights. On shabbos we play board games and cards. I feel like Hashem is giving me a do over as a parent because I play with my children more now then I did when they were younger. We play Monopoly and Pay Day and just added Trivial Pursuit to our repertoire.

One of the highlights of the week is hearing Grant read the parsha. Every week, since the first week our shul closed, we listen to Grant while we follow along in the chumash. This past shabbos was very special because it was the parsha of Grant's bar mitzvah. We reminisced about his special day when we were newbies in North Woodmere. So much has changed in those thirteen years but this pandemic has caused us all to be together in this house again the way we were when we celebrated Grant’s bar mitzvah.

I miss my routine. I miss not seeing my friends in shul every week. One of the biggest challenges I face is speaking to my friends outside of my house and not being able to invite them in for a drink or snack. I miss having shabbos and yom tov company. I miss life as I used to know it before this pandemic began and all of my children returned home.

By: Melinda Hilsenrath

Sat, May 18 2024 10 Iyyar 5784