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Great Expectations

Posted Aug 18 2009 12:00am

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the pain of waiting, whether it be for a liver or for something as trivial as the subway. There are times though when waiting is good, even better than what you are actually anticipating. Sometimes our expectations are what gets us through the day or the rough times. We have the weekend to look forward to during the arduous week of work. Its only two days, but it makes the other five seem bearable.

For me, I have three events that I look forward to every year. The first one occurs at the end of February. As the cold winter rages outside and snow piles up on my car, I sit in the movie theatre getting ready for the Oscars. To some the Academy Awards are a six-hour long, celebrity infused, waste of time. For me, though, it’s a sporting event, a marathon of seeing every nominated movie, culminating in the big game itself. For four years, Aviva and I have our annual Oscar party where the planning takes months, the trash talking takes weeks, and the event lasts a few hours. We invite all our friends, eat dinner, bet on the winners, and watch the show. It gets me through the winter.

The next event I look forward to is the annual July 4th soccer game. This event is sort of an anomaly since I don’t like planning stuff and I am not athletic. Still, every June I begin to bother my friends and make a roster for this annual event. We get together early on July 4th, before the bbq and the fireworks and play a sport no one in this country cares about. I’m technically European but if you came to the event, you would see 12 to 15 kids running around aimlessly like a chicken without its head. And really, that’s the best part: no one is good at soccer and no one cares. We get together, run around, have ices, and then take the year off. Unfortunately, though, this year the game was canceled due to the organizers general laziness and lack of health.

Finally, my favorite event of the year is the Jewish holiday of Succot. Celebrating the Jewish sojourn in the desert, the holiday lasts a week in the middle of October. It is one of the most beautiful Jewish holidays as we take in the natural world around us. The entire week, we eat outside in huts to commemorate the way the Jews lived, as the leaves begin to change color and fall around us. As most of the Jewish holidays revolve around the agricultural year as well, we say special blessings on the palm branch and yellow citron (aka the Etrog) as we begin to harvest the land. The added touch of the natural world to our daily prayers makes the synagogue a particularly beautiful place during this time of year.

Usually I look forward to these events like a person awaits their wedding day. Recently, however, the future is so wide open I’ve been less excited than usual. Already the July 4th soccer game was canceled due to health concerns and who knows if I’ll be in the hospital or recovering from the liver transplant during Sukkot or for the Oscar party. Fortunately, though, Aviva and I have the most wonderful thing to look forward to now…TWO BABIES. We are expecting twins this coming January, G-d willing, and it has been the greatest news of our lives. For Aviva and I, it has made this difficult road bearable. Every day and every moment of that day, I look forward to being a dad. A liver transplant lasts a day, recovery lasts a few months, and honestly then you fall into a routine. But fatherhood is constantly evolving, bringing new challenges and joys throughout your life. Parenthood, it seems, you can look forward to every day of the week.

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