Josh planned to head into work after our morning at the school, so we took two cars. He took the boys, and the girls and I headed out twenty minutes later. And it seems that during those twenty minutes, all the traffic on earth descended onto New Jersey. The guy who does the traffic on the radio even said, (and I am totally quoting him here) - Go home, New Jersey. Just go home.
There were no alternate routes, no getting off the highway at that point to take the streets. No options. So we sat on the entrance ramp to the Rt 78 for forever, until finally we inched forward slightly. And then we sat some more. We watched the man in the car next to us eat a whole bag of hamburgers. And then we realized that we were hungry too, and also a little sad because there were going to be donuts in school, and what if we missed those! Forget the tefillin, donuts! Priorities.
We did get there for the last few minutes of davening, and to my girls' great relief, we made it there in time for the donuts. Which is good, because if we hadn't, I think my girls would have indeed heeded the traffic report and gone home. With tears. This way, they ate all the sugar and went off to their classes. And I can laugh at the thought of my pint-sized sugared-up kids going to class only because it's almost summer vacation and I am pretty sure the teachers are already laughing at us parents.
The question of the day - one that all the family members who did indeed make it to school in time for the putting on of the tefillin asked me - why did you not all come together in one car? Or at least leave at the same time?
I shall explain.
So a. Josh left with the boys at 6:45am, and we don't leave before 7:15am on a good morning, so that kinda wasn't going to work for us.
And b. The girls were in the middle of making top-secret tefillin gifts (who knew this was a gift-giving occasion? Not me.) for Avi.
These girlies are super-cute - they decorated plastic containers from the recycling bin and stuffed them with hand-written notes and pictures that they made for their brother. They also sorted through several junk drawers and Avi is now the proud owner of some random keychains and unclaimed Perler bead creations. But it's so the thought that counts.
- Both decorated containers have tefillin on them. I thought that was clever.
- We have a lot of washi tape. That pile is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm guessing this summer will involve much washi-taping of all the things.
*Tefillin are ritual objects that Jewish men wear each morning when they pray. Boys begin wearing them about a month before their 13th birthday, which is also their bar mitzvah. Stay tuned for scenes for Avi's upcoming bar mitzvah. This is our first real big thing as a family, so my event planning skills are going to be put to the test.