Out of all the boroughs, Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island the hardest. One of Ari’s teachers (Ms. Y) lives on Staten Island.
I took Ari to school the other day, only to find that Ms. Y was not there. Ms. X (Ari’s main teacher) greeted us as we entered the classroom.
“Where’s Ms. Y?” I asked “Is she okay?”
“No,” Replied Ms. X. “Her house was flooded. She’s got a crew of people helping her clean it up at the moment.”
“Is there anything we can do to help?” I asked.
“That’s really sweet of you to ask.” She replied. “I’ll ask her and let you know.”
But that simply wasn’t enough for this Jewish mother.
When I arrived home, I busted out my laptop and searched through my email and found a mass email that Ms. X sent out a while back to all the parents in Ari’s class.
I hit “reply all” and said:
By the way, I still don’t really know the difference between “affected” and “effected.” I think I used the correct word, but I did google it before I sent the email. Was I right?
Shortly thereafter, I got an email back from Ms. X letting the parents know what Ms. Y was in need of. Ms Y needed (among other things) a generator, and shoes. Ms. Y’s home was severely flooded. She, her husband, and her son were left without any shoes. Sneakers and winter boats were mentioned.
I wrote Ms. X back and promised I would buy Ms. Y’s son some shoes, boys size 6.5.
Today, Ari, Samara and I went to Payless. I scanned the boy’s section and found a pair of Airwalk sneakers. Then I noticed that there were a pair of winter boots right above them, the same size, Ms. Y’s son’s size. I couldn’t afford both pairs of shoes. I only intended to buy one pair. But my brain wouldn’t stop…
Sneakers are not enough…
His feet will freeze.
Fuck it, I’ll buy both.
It was a mitzvah, I told myself. Now Ms. Y’s son will have shoes.
We arrived at school, today election day. Ms. X told me I could drop the shoes off with her, but she wasn’t in her classroom.
I went to the office. I asked Marisa, the secretary, if she knew where Ms. X was. She told me she would be here. I started to panic.
“You could leave them here, I’ll give them to Ms. X for you.”
No, I thought. What if they never make it to Ms. X. It’s not rational, but I want to physically hand them to Ms. X. That way I’ll know they’re going to get to Ms. Y. They’re going to get stolen in the office. I know it. Also, I’m completely insane.
“Would you mind calling upstairs? I just want to drop these shoes off to Ms. X. They’re for Ms. Y.”
“Sure, no problem.” Said Marisa.
Marisa thinks I’m insane.
Ms. X came down from her meeting.
“Hi,” She said “Thank you so much, I’m sure Ms. Y will love these.”
“There’s a receipt in there, in case they don’t fit,” I said frantically searching through the bag.
Why am I so weird?
“Thanks again.” Said Ms. X. “I have to run back to my meeting. See you tomorrow!”
“Bye!” Ari chimed in.
Finally, Ms. X had the shoes, and they were on their way to where they belonged, Staten Island.
A mitzvah has been done!