With less than a week to go before Passover, I am camped out in my bedroom, subtly supervising the two Columbia undergraduates whom I hired to box up Big Babe's most precious possessions: the thousands of books he amassed and stored in the bedroom he has now bequeathed to Little Babe by virtue of graduating college and moving to Berlin.
While I catch up on my email, I am -- to appropriate an old-fashioned, equine expression that is under-utilized by humans of the 21st century -- feeling my oats. Literally.
The reason for this is that just before Davy and Dan showed up, I ate a humongous bowl of oatmeal with vanilla soymilk, a nutritious uber-chametzy meal. Returning from my morning of teaching kids at Prozdor, I always have the appetite of a manual laborer and find myself relishing my Sunday brunch like never before.
The Prozdor kids provided some great Passover inspiration, sharing what they liked about the holiday and helping riff on the inherent themes, chief among them freedom.
Returning home to prepare for the arrival of Davy and Dan, I hung out with Little Babe who -- taking note of my meal -- shared with me the important information that the Quaker Oats guy had been redrawn, thinner and a tad younger.
The news utterly unsettled me. Larry, the grandfatherly, benevolent Quaker Oats Man made leaner and meaner????
That's just wrong.
Rushing to Google the horrible news, I was relieved to find that what had befallen Larry was the equivalent of nothing more dramatic than a few shots of Botox and a few weeks on Weight Watchers.
In fact, had I not known, I probably would never have noticed Larry's makeover as I grabbed the legendary cardboard canister off the shelf on my typical fly-by Fairway shopping expeditions.
Perhaps only late at night, I might have found myself staring at the iconic image wondering what was different, thinking that it was probably time I invested in a decent pair of glasses.
Outside of my room, Dan and Davy have made amazing progress, removing nearly all the books that I stuffed into our small bathroom, filling boxes I purchased for the express purpose of storing Big Babe's books. On Tuesday, the guys will come with me to the Bronx location of NYC Mini Storage, where I will undergo a rite of passage experienced by so many urban dwellers: I shall become the renter of a storage unit.
Into it will go Big Babe's books, the clothes and artifacts he left behind, some suitcases and the treadmill I bought on Craig's List for $200 a few years ago and which HOBB has outlawed for noise and aesthetic purposes, something Middle Babe and I strenuously object to, but are powerless to fight at the present time.
Virtually one hour after they began, the small bathroom is free of books, available again to the Bungalow Bunch. Happily, I just welcomed the space back by utilizing it as a water closet and not a storage closet.
And though I am sad to be removing my eldest son's books, clothes and other possessions from our abode, I think of this loss as gaining a bathroom, a welcome development after more than a month of coordinating toilet, toothbrushing and shower visits in the one usable bathroom of the Urban Bungalow.
This newfound freedom certainly puts me in a Passover frame of mind.