Wednesday, December 12, 2007

40x365: #56 ~ Kami

A virtual-turned-real-life friend who most surely was always one of the "cool kids." I still feel that adolescent insecurity about that when I am with you, and yet you are so sweet, it's almost possible to forget.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ohhhhhhhh. Okay. Now I get it.

So, this being Jewish in a world of Christmas wasn't hard. At least not until this year. I've alluded to this before, but I was not raised Jewish. I chose this faith after a childhood of Shabbat dinners with friends, a young adulthood of reading and wondering, and a slightly-older but still young adulthood of study and reflection. And somewhere along the way I got lucky and met a wonderful Jewish man, and that worked out rather nicely. So I've been Jewish for six years or so, and the whole giving up Christmas thing? Not too bad. And even when Eli came along, it worked out just fine. Until, that is, this year. And now I get what all of my Jewish friends were talking about when they talked about feeling left out of the holidays.

It must be that when you're almost three, the world starts to want to know more about you - your hopes, your dreams, your visits with Santa. I can't tell you how many times Eli has been asked by strangers at the mall, "Did you go visit Santa today?" Or by strangers other places, "Is Santa coming to your house?" Or how many people have asked me, "Is he very excited about Christmas?" The answers? "No," "No," and "Yeah, I think so."

I've found myself needing to walk a fine line these days. The truth is, he will celebrate Christmas to some extent. Since my side of the family is not Jewish, there's plenty of Christmas cheer to be found. We will spend the day at my sister's house, surrounded by garland and wreaths and twinkling lights. We'll be serenaded by Bing Crosby. We'll drink egg nog. We'll open presents. So, let's face it, Eli will celebrate Christmas. But he won't be sitting on Santa's lap at the mall and we won't need to open our flue to let him visit on Christmas Eve.

I'm not sure it would be easier to explain if we didn't have this gray area to contend with, but regardless it's confusing. Not to him, to me. I still haven't sorted out how I'm going to explain it all to him. I suppose it's not as complicated as I'm making out to be right now, and that once I really have to give him hard and fast information - once it occurs to him to wonder why Santa doesn't come here but he does visit his cousins, once he becomes more insistent that we have holiday decorations like the ones he so admires on the neighbors' houses - I guess it really won't be that hard. It is what it is. And for the time being, he doesn't really need to know more than he does. It's Christmas, the lights are pretty, and giving and receiving gifts feels really good. So for now I'll put aside my need to intellectualize, over-analyze, categorize his experiences and just let him be (almost) three. After all, you only get to do that once.

40x365: #55 ~ Chris M.

You were my best friend for, oh, a year. All I remember is that on that Christmas, you gave me a fuzzy gray pen. Fuzzy pens were all the rage in nineteen-seventy-whatever, so that was very cool. Thanks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

40x365: #54 ~ Paul M.

I can trace my emotional development by reading journal entries about you over a ten-year span. Amazing how, just like a mountain in the rearview mirror, you were so huge when I set out and then quickly, so tiny.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

40x365: #53 ~ Paul D.

One date (or was it two?), set in motion with me walking toward the park bench where we were meeting, you clipping your fingernails as you waited. Sadly, that made it impossible for me to continue. So young, so judgmental.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

40x365: #52 ~ Colleen

Perhaps one of the nicest people I have ever met. In my world, you are remembered as the roommate of my good friend, but I also see you in a larger way: as a positive energy force to learn from.

Friday, December 7, 2007

40x365: #51 ~ Mel

Husband of a friend of a friend, we were always in the same social situations. In another setting we could have been great friends, but once I heard you refer to me as "what's her name," and that was that.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

40x365: #49 ~ Lisa S.

Undercover cop, big city traffic enforcer, hostess extraordinaire with a box-load of accessories for every holiday. You are a multi-faceted and complex. You suffer through much with your flirty, flitty husband, but I know you're both in love.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

40x365: #50 ~ Howard

A true San Francisco boy, met your wife in the line for pizza in the Marina, 20-something and carefree. Yours was the first cell phone I ever used and, in my life, that is your major claim to fame.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

40x365: #48 ~ Tom S.

A mover and a shaker, you are. All business, a total flirt, known to take your wedding ring off - at least back when I knew you. Yet you married your high school sweetheart and you're still going strong. There's that.

Monday, December 3, 2007

40x365: #47 ~ Maya

You can invite a crowd over on the spur of the moment and still manage to have a crock of homemade soup just waiting on your stove. That's literal and metaphoric, because you are the most welcoming person I know.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

40x365: #46 ~ Sen

We were such close friends but then someone pointed out (and I realized) I was doing all the leg work. Sometimes I miss you, but the one sentence responses to my emails don't really encourage my thoughts of reconnecting. Sigh.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

40x365: #45 ~ Heddie

Leading my first "new moms group" almost three years ago, you were so out of touch with new moms it wasn't funny. "Maybe email" (my lifeline to civilization) "is just one thing you'll have to give up." Ha! As if.