I do have a new understanding of how the world works. I knew it all along, but it’s a little more real to me now
e always get ants in the summer, it’s true, but we don’t always have a newborn, and the ants don’t always make it all the way up to the nursery attached to the master bedroom on the third floor.
I put down ant traps.
I put down poison.
Reluctantly, I put down stronger poison.
Finally, I called an exterminator.
He was on vacation, lucky him, but he gave me the name of another guy. Other Guy had a thick accent and high prices and a complicated schedule. Mid-phone call, it all became too much for my kimpeturin brain to handle.
My husband was traveling again, I had a newborn, I had other kids, I had ants, I couldn’t deal with this. I told him I’d call him back when I was ready to schedule, and hung up.
Hadn’t I learned anything the past few months? Hashem didn’t need my help. He could get rid of the ants without an exterminator. I muttered a tefillah for Him to do so. I relaxed.
The next day the ants were gone.
I accepted this development without surprise. I felt a kind of serene joy settle over me.
It was a busy summer (“busy summer” — a repetitive redundancy if there ever was one). The Yom Tov season rushed up on me shockingly quickly. Suddenly it was Erev Yom Tov, and I hadn’t bought new clothing for the kids.
Truth was, I had procrastinated out of pure PTSD. I’m not a good shopper. Pesach time I had taken my daughter Sara to seven stores. I hate shopping.
On Erev Rosh Hashanah I called my sister-in-law Mindy from the car. “What kind of Jewish woman goes clothes shopping on Erev Rosh Hashanah? Don’t answer.”
“Listen, Sara really needs clothes. It’s not her fault I’ve been so busy with the baby. I’m just going to go to one store. Hashem made Kri’as Yam Suf. Finding Sara a dress is much easier than Kri’as Yam Suf.”
Mindy clucked. “There’s no such thing as harder or easier for Hashem. Splitting the sea is the same hard-easy as finding Sara a dress.”
I walked into the store. There was a sale rack near the door. As I sailed past, I picked two dresses off the rack. Then I collected every other possibility in Sara’s size, and we squeezed into the dressing room.
We didn’t find one dress.
We found two dresses.
They fit perfectly.
They were on sale.
They were the first two dresses we had picked up in the first store we tried.
I called Mindy from the car on the way home. “You were right,” I told her. “Hashem can do anything.”
A little while later, our car died. It had served us loyally for many years and collected over 211,000 miles. We loved it, but it was time to let it go.
My husband called me from the rental place to share the bad news. “By the way,” he said, “how are we paying for a new car?”
I mulled that one over for a while. Eventually, I concluded that there was no choice but to win the lottery.
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 581)
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