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The 10 Commandments for Zooming into Summer

06/17/2021 09:01:44 AM


What a difference a year makes!  Just take a moment and think about where you (we) all were last summer at this time.  In case you forgot, in all likelihood, you were at home.  Or at least you were at home a heck of a lot more than you had been before.

But thank goodness, we have arrived.  The COVID-scare has significantly subsided, if not disappeared from our day to day worries. And you know what that means?  Summer camp!  Traveling!  Family!  Family?  Yes! Family.  Over the past year, the existential crises brought to my attention have had much more to do with one’s self and one’s partner, than one’s parents or other close, but not live-in, relatives.  In many cases, distance did make the heart grow fonder.  But now, yep!, masks are off.  And with them, the potential for closer ties to make things a bit closer (and potentially difficult).  All this is to say, as you begin to plan for the reunion with your parents or children, perhaps consider following these little 10 commandments of “re-entry:” 

  1.  If it hasn’t needed to be said for over a year, it probably doesn’t need to be now. 
  2.  When reuniting with close and perhaps challenging family, remember Zoom’s greatest lesson for us all – it’s all about a good connection.  And like #1, don’t let that "Mute" button go to waste.
  3.  When planning meals and activities, there are probably far more possibilities in your pantries and closets than you ever remembered – and most likely, they're all still there. 
  4.  Another great lesson from Zoom – most often, its super important to set your screen onto "Speaker" mode, so you can truly focus on one person at a time.  However, "Gallery" mode is also a huge help when you need a broader perspective.  Just choose with purpose.
  5.  COVID lessons:
    1.  Sharing is NOT always the best strategy.
    2.  Your smile is nothing without your eyes.
    3.  It can wait.  Whatever it is, it just can.  (How do we know this?  See 5,4)
    4.  Because occasionally, but most only occasionally, it can’t wait.  Then, “Katy bar the door!”
    5.  Singing the Happy Birthday song twice before you stop scrubbing your hands with soap has always been an excellent idea.  It continues to be so.
  6.  “Kabeid Av va-Eim,” Honor thy father and mother means that one should take seriously and with a weightiness, one’s relationships with one’s parents.  That doesn’t mean that anything goes.  Certainly on the part of the children, but most definitely on the part of the parents.  As the Rabbis taught, “The flow of love is from Parents to Children and Children to Children.”
  7.  Good time with family isn’t necessarily cumulative.  Meaning, just because you missed a week with family last summer, doesn’t necessarily make two weeks this summer a great idea. 
  8.  If at all possible, spring for the extra room for the kids.  You deserve it and so do they!
  9.  Almost 600,000 people died from COVID, from last February to now.  Anyone reading this blog is lucky to be alive.  And anyone who says otherwise just hasn’t been paying attention. 
  10. And lastly, become a much better tipper than you were before COVID.   Nobody in the service sector got to live out COVID at their “other” house.  The staff of restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, the refuse and utility workers, and so many others, who made life manageable for so many, deserve a raise.  And let’s not forget the delivery drivers!  They are all about as front line as you can get without working in an ER. 
Wed, August 17 2022 20 Av 5782