By Phyllis J. Lubin
Camp has ended. Rosh Hashanah is over. My kids are back in school. But somehow, despite the end-of-summer blues, the sun still shines. Yesterday I had an opportunity to return to the beach–Lido Beach. But it was rushed. I didn’t take that chance to watch the beautiful horizon. Today was the first Monday of bus service for my children, and the first Monday following yom tov and summer vacations for me at work. The registration for the Anchor programs was today as well, so I fit in a quick trip to their headquarters in Lido Beach this morning to sign Yussie up for his weekly bowling and swimming after-school activities.
It is very important for children with trisomy 21 (more commonly known as Down syndrome) to have continual stimulation (without overdoing it, of course). Yussie does not do well with too much downtime (no pun intended). If he doesn’t have an activity scheduled, he is likely to end up in front of the television. In fact, he has created a new monster: playing games on his iPad while at the same time watching mindless television. Not a great educational way to spend one’s time, to say the least. And so we need to make sure that Yussie’s downtime is limited: hence bowling and swimming.
And so, as the sun was shining, I made my trek over to registration. The Anchor headquarters is situated at the camp site, which is directly on Lido Beach. What a marvelous opportunity for me to fit in some sunshine to my busy day! And yet I was so proud that I made it to Camp Anchor and back within a little over an hour. Why are we always in a hurry? As soon as I was back in my office I felt bad. A missed opportunity to bask in the remaining summer sun!
Last Wednesday, I fit some summer sun into my day. The weather report was promising and both Lea and my eldest daughter had no school. Despite the busy pre-yom tov cooking, and pre-yom tov office work that I needed to complete, I couldn’t let a beautiful sunny day go without a trip back to Sunny Atlantic! The beach club was technically closed, but open to patrons wanting to clean out their lockers. And so we revisited our locker: Lea grabbed sand toys, while I snatched some towels and my mom’s chair to relax for a few moments on the beach.
What a difference a few days make! Just two days earlier, on Labor Day, we were at the club. Despite the cloudy weather, the beach club faithful made sure to be at the club for the last day of the season. On the last day of the summer, adults at Sunny Atlantic Beach Club line up to do non-stop cannonballs for a half-hour as part of “Cannonball for a Cure,” a fundraiser to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. When the adults are all about to collapse from the cannonballs, many kids at the club line up and do the same. My youngest daughter joined the other jumpers at the diving board as each person tried to “out-jump” the other! We all enjoyed our brief moments in the sun that day, and were so happy to spend time at our summer home away from home on the last day of the club season.
But we came back to the beach last Wednesday without the crowds, and enjoyed some quiet time. When I received the call from my Albany student Rochel that she was almost arriving at the Cedarhurst train station, we packed up our belongings, but made sure to put them back in the locker. I don’t want to say goodbye yet to my sunny days at Sunny Atlantic, and will be sure to get back there before the office closes for the season this weekend. Perhaps yet another Tashlich chance to send our sins away in the ocean before Yom Kippur arrives.
As we begin our New Year, let’s make sure to enjoy the sun that Hashem has given us, and take time out of our busy days to give thanks. To all my readers, a happy and a healthy new year! v
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children–Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea–and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.