It’s About Darn Time!
Closing ThoughtsOpinion

It’s About Darn Time!

Shaindle shares an idea for a new holiday to honor the aunts and uncles who make a difference in our lives.

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

I grew up in New York, specifically, The Bronx. I feel compelled to ask you, have you ever noticed that the only borough in New York with the distinguished title THE before its name is The Bronx? Just sayin’!

We lived on the right side of the twin blonde brick apartment buildings. Each of the buildings boasted lovely gardens on either side of their entrance walkways.

Upon entering the lobby of the buildings, one entered what we kids called “the castle.” These castles (lobby) had four steps on either side of each of the building’s lobby where maroon-ish/red velvet ‘king and queen’ chairs sat regally, surrounding very ugly, round marble, ornate tables, on each of the landings. There were what seemed like the longest staircases known to man, women or children, located on either side of the elevator, right in the middle of the lobby, leading to the first floor of each of the two six-story apartment buildings.

As our mom and dad grew our family, from one, then two, completing us with three girls, our mom and dad, all of us sharing one bathroom I might add, we were forced to pack up and move three times, from one to two and finally three bedrooms. Never, however, leaving the safety and familiarity of our village our community,

This six-story building had enough apartments to accommodate everyone in our extended or adopted family. After all, it does take a village! So, we occupied not one, not two, not even three, but six apartments in that one building. We could have gone for seven, however, one aunt and uncle and two cousins moved to New Jersey. Unheard of in those days. Of course, us kids thought for sure we would never see them again. My dad had a car, so we did indeed see them again and, often, they were family, after all. The rest of us occupied six apartments on four different floors. Doors unlocked for easy kid access, fire escapes in the back for creative play.

We all grew to be kind, intuitive, involved, committed, bright, funny, loving adults, building families of our own, all influenced by our loving village, our community. I always felt I had a bit of an advantage over so many of my friends, having our family so close.

And now, I do declare, it’s about darn time! I refer here to July 26, 2023, celebrating aunts and uncles and how they influenced our lives. I am particularly happy for this new holiday, it affords me the opportunity to share one of my aunts with you. My aunt, Jeanette. One of my greatest “influencers.”

This fairly new holiday, is picking up steam as more and more nieces and nephews discover Aunt and Uncle Day. July 26, 2023! In my humble opinion, it’s about darn time!

My aunt, Jeanette (O.B.M.), lived on the third floor, with my uncle and two of my cousins.

I am so joyful about this holiday. I have an opportunity to share her with you. It’s a day celebrating the aunts in your life who made a difference for you. Those loving aunts who guided us, aunts who sometimes saved us, aunts who were always honest with us, aunts who always instilled in us “you are good enough!” Aunts who always conveyed in a myriad of ways how much you were loved.

I celebrate my Aunt Jeanette, and how simple and wise she was. A true influencer in my life. Be nice, be kind, study as hard as you can. Be creative and “make do” with what you have available. New isn’t always better. Hand-me-downs, of any sort, allow you to wear or use things with history. Refreshing well-used furniture can make you feel strong, confident; be creative with your life, step out of your comfort zone. And, best of all, while she braided my hair, and I would wince in pain, she brought me this little gem: “You have to suffer to be beautiful.” My aunt was famous for her chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes baking chocolate chip cookies together, always worrying if they were round enough.

I heard the sounds and actions of her influence, in both Yiddish and English. I always listened, well not always, but mostly.

When all else failed, I would run away from home in a huff. Home being on the fourth floor. I would run down the steps to the third floor into the safety of my tante (aunt) Jeanette.

July 26…celebrate your aunts who loved you unconditionally.

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