Doran had a run in with the NYPD Friday night. His friend Drew has a car and she was dropping him off at home, late, which is typical. Our building is next door to a bank with a parking lot (the parking lot is unusual in NYC). Rather than go all the way up our one-way street, Drew turned into the parking lot to drop him off, then continued out the other side of the lot to get back to the main road. Makes sense, but also meant that Doran was walking out of a dark bank parking lot at 2:00 a.m.
Three plainclothes cops (presumably on some sort of stake out, although I'm not sure why then they didn't see Drew dropping him off) grabbed him, searched him, etc. After they had established that he had nothing illegal on him nor anything that seemed likely to be used in an illegal fashion, they told him he could leave. Doran, being Doran, asked why they had grabbed him in the first place. They said a few things, among them that he could have been robbing the bank. "Do I look like a bank robber?" he asked.
"What does a bank robber look like?" one of them asked, hostilely. Doran assumed the cop assumed Doran was making a racial remark.
"Not like a kid!" he replied. "I'm a kid! Kids don't rob banks!"
It was pretty funny when he told it, but I did tell him there are serious lessons to be learned. First of all, don't carry any illegal substances. Secondly: don't argue with cops. It's just not a good idea (this is corollary to that important maxim: Never argue with a crazy person with a gun.) Doran OTOH feels that since he waited until they cleared him to get cheeky it was okay. The third serious point (to me, anyway, but I don't think it penetrated his brain) is: he's not a kid! He's 19 years old and he feels like a kid and often acts like a kid, but in the eyes of the law he's a responsible adult, G-d help us all. It blows my mind to think I was completely on my own at his age.
Kendra said to me yesterday, "Can I make a Key Lime Pie?" I asked her why she wanted to make a Key Lime Pie (which, technically, would be a Lime Pie in the Style of Key Lime Pie because we can't get key limes here and just use regular ones). She said that with Pesach coming up we will be pie-less for a while, which is true. So I told her to go ahead and make a pie. She asked me how and I told her how. At that point she said, "Will you help me? And by 'help me' I mean 'do it for me'?" So I made a Key Lime Pie. She then updated her Facebook status to say "Kendra is done making pie."
Zara's bat mitzvah is in three weeks. She is the calmest of all of us about it, it seems. Through some calendar confusions, it turned out her bat mitzvah date is also Shabbat Shoah, the shabbat where we commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial day. In our shul we generally don't have a bar or bat mitzvah on Shabbat Shoah. We do a special maftir and haftarah instead of the usual ones. This year, because of how Pesach and Yom Hashoah fall, it turned out that Shabbat Shoah will be the first shabbat after Pesach (because we don't do it on Pesach) and that's Zara's bat mitzvah. But by the time we all realized this, she was already in the thick of learning the regular maftir and haftarah for that week. So my rabbi suggested that she just do two of each. It seemed like a good idea, particularly as the traditional haftarah for that week is pretty short.
The traditional maftir is about the usual length - a few lines - and she mastered it pretty quickly and was working on the extra one. She asked if she could practice her extra maftir for me the other day and I said "Sure." She started chanting, and kept chanting, and kept chanting. "How long is that thing?" I asked. It was 16 lines (as opposed to the 5 or 6 I expected)! Kids are so different. Either of my big ones would have screamed bloody murder (appropriate, since the maftir is the Cain and Abel story) upon seeing what had to be learned. Zara didn't even mention the length.
Zara's tutor - who is an excellent teacher and a lovely person and generally a calm, reassuring influence - has been pretty anxious about the amount of work Zara has to get ready. I finally told her that she was making me crazy, that she is supposed to calm me down and not vice versa. J., the tutor, took it to heart and tries to reassure me every time we speak. Zara seems unbothered by any of this, though. We were at a bat mitzvah a couple of weeks ago and the kid was clearly very nervous. The tutor (who was Doran's as well and is a really sweet guy) stroked her back gently and you could just see her relaxing as he did. I pointed out to Zara what he was doing, and said I thought it was so sweet. "I'll have to do that to J." Zara said, completely cheerfully.