Back in July, when I began planning my first Days of Awe as a pulpit rabbi, I said to Ethan, "We should pick a weekend after all the holidays are over, and find a way to spend that weekend doing something fun together."
We knew already that he was going to be starting his new gig at MIT and would be in Boston half of every week. We knew that his fall was going to feature a lot of extra travel as well, and we knew that his first month or so at MIT was likely to be pretty densely-packed. And we knew that the Days of Awe are a busy time for everyone in my line of work: so many services to plan and lead, so many details to organize, so many hopes and expectations to try to meet. I figured the odds were good that he and I wouldn't get a ton of time for us until his busy start to the semester, and my busy High Holiday season, were past.
And then Ethan got invited to speak at yet another conference. This happens with fairly predictable regularity, of course; it's a big part of how he works, these days. But this time the invitation came from a college friend who we haven't seen in years -- and the conference was scheduled right after my long string of holidays (Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur to Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah) was slated to end. Oh, and the conference in question is in Paris.
"Paris," I pointed out, "would be a fabulous place to spend a weekend together."
So Ethan said yes to the conference (which will happen early next week), and we booked an extra plane ticket and a couple of extra nights at a hotel, and my in-laws graciously agreed to spend these few days staying at our house with our adorably rambunctious toddler, and we are going on a weekend vacation.
One of Drew's favorite things to say is "Off we go!" (Clearly we say this to him when we're getting ready to hit the road, and he has learned to repeat it with great enthusiasm and glee.) So I'll echo our beautiful child and say: off we go! See y'all on the flipside.