So Many First Days of the Rest of My Life
OpinionShaindle's Shpiel

So Many First Days of the Rest of My Life

How many times have events altered my future? Let me count some of the days.

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The Marcus JCC continues to run thriving day camps at the Dunwoody campus and elsewhere.
The Marcus JCC continues to run thriving day camps at the Dunwoody campus and elsewhere.

June 30, 19XX, was the very first day of the rest of my life.

On that, the day of my arrival at Bronx Hospital’s labor and delivery ward, my parents were expecting twin boys. If the date had been April Fools’ Day, my arrival still would not have been grounds for comedy.

What could that old doctor have been thinking when he excitedly informed my mom (z”l) and dad (z”l) that they were having twin boys? Seriously! Absolutely no technology to support this outrageous claim.

He must have had a little too much celebratory schnapps, and it’s a good thing I was a cute baby.

So that is how this girl’s life got started.

Avid readers will recall that as soon as I could swing a hammer, Dad was teaching me typical (for the time) boy skills. I was a quick study, loved learning these neat skills and loved all the attention bestowed on me.

Generally speaking, if you possess a preponderance of Y chromosomes, you are male; with X chromosomes, you are female. My dad must have recognized and related to the mixture of XY (tomboy) in me. (Oh, don’t go getting your genetic Hula Hoops in a tizzy; it’s just a little comedy fodder.)

I had, and still have, so many days I recognize as the first day of the rest of my life (FDotRomL). I have to mine my mind to recognize all the first days (If I have forgotten any that you believe should be included, simply email me — I’d really like that.)

  • First day of kindergarten. Now that was a glorious one. I felt buoyed by independence.
  • First time I rode a three-wheeler or a two-wheeler bike by myself.
  • First time I drove a car (it was an old Chevy truck).
  • My first real paycheck. Thanks to Alexander’s department store, this is where I learned to be an employee and what skills one needs as a manager. This is where I discovered that I love the adventure of working.
  • First date. We went to the movies.
  • OK, I feel it only fair to include that first kiss. This particular first was a game changer, a defining FDotRomL.
  • First day I rode the el trains and subway on my own.
  • My first day as a camper. That day and every day since, I understood and accepted why I was sent here; it sure wasn’t to take up space.
  • The day I floated down the bridal aisle toward many other first days of the rest of my life.
  • The day I birthed the first of my four daughters, bestowing on me the coveted title of Mommy.
  • The day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the day of the 9/11 attacks.
  • The first day I awoke to the Vietnam War, an eye-opening FDotRomL.
  • The day I accepted the position of director of Camp AJECOMCE at the Jewish Community Center’s Zaban Park branch. I could not have imagined how impactful this would be on yet another FDotRomL.
  • The day I welcomed my first grandchild, who blows up my heart with so much love. She officially gave me the passport needed for the grandparent club. She is the first to call me Savta.

By the way, nine more grandchildren followed in her footsteps. Each one occupies a sweet space of love in my heart, making my heart sing every day.

Seven male cousins who will bring seven brides into our clan. Three females who will not have to do much persuading to bring in three grooms to round out the clan.

Must I be politically correct and use gender-neutral descriptions? Nah, not today.

Some folks would say that each morning we awake is the first day of the rest of our lives. I believe this to be so. How I set the day, how I spend the day, affects and determines future FDotRomLs.

Now go out there, stand up and speak out. You will enhance all the first days of the rest of your life.

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