My favorite things about moving to the Chicago area are the new experiences and opportunities offered to my children. I think this happens no matter where one relocates. All places have new and different and wonderful opportunities to offer. Except maybe prison. Even prison, really, would give a new perspective, but still, I wouldn’t recommend it. Not that I have any firsthand experience with prison. Because I don’t. No matter what you have heard.
Living near a huge city like Chicago offers many lessons in diversity. I rarely shop at Joe Caputo’s without hearing several different languages spoken. It’s one of the reasons I shop there. That, and their chocolate cannolis make my heart go pitter-patter, probably a symptom of clogging arteries, but YUM!
My children have friends who are Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. I have photographs of Rosebud and her friends with more than five different ethnicities and five different religions represented.
Last weekend, Boy Wonder was invited to a Bar Mitzvah. He and his friends needed a driver to the ceremony. Having never before had the opportunity to attend a Bar Mitzvah, I volunteered. I obviously don’t understand Hebrew, but was extremely impressed by the amount of effort and work it must have taken for this young man to learn the readings and songs. I was also struck by the involvement of the families in the ceremony. I don’t really know this family all that well, but I had to choke back tears when the parents, grandparents, and big brother shared their love and wishes for this boy. Especially the brother. That got me most.
I am not a religious person, but I can see the value and comfort that it brings into many, many people’s lives. I am glad that there are temples, churches, mosques, woods, lakes, and mountaintops in which people find peace and understanding.
Those are the things that I wish for you today, my friends, peace and understanding… and chocolate cannolis.