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Here

By Jennifer Lang

All autumn long, my friends badgered me about my son’s college plans. The more they questioned, the quieter I turned.

A junior at a Jewish school in Manhattan, Benjamin commuted an hour every day from White Plains, sleeping whenever possible. The life-after-graduation topic was as heavy as a ton of TNT, and I dreaded detonating it.

One Saturday night around Halloween, when an ominous cold seeped through cracks in the windows, I draped a blanket around me. My daughters—twelve and ten—were in the basement digging through dress-up, leaving my husband, Philippe, Benjamin, and me time to talk.

“So the college fair’s tomorrow at Solomon Schechter High School to learn about Jewish life on campuses,” I said. “I’ll go with you if you want.”

“I’m not going. You go.”

“Why would I go without you? I’ve already been to college.”

“I’m not going to college here, so I don’t need to go to the fair.”

“Then what /are/ you doing after you graduate next year?” Philippe asked.

I loved how we rallied back and forth, Philippe and me on the same side of the net for a change. Oftentimes, our differing views about Israel and about our shared religion put us on opposing teams.

 

     

About the Author

Jennifer Lang lives and teaches writing in Raanana, Israel. Her essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from Under the Sun, Ascent, Brevity, and 1966. A Pushcart Prize and Best American Essays nominee, she earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Connect with her through http://israelwriterstudio.com/ or @JenLangWrites.

 

 

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