"One over there, Ima. A new one."
"And another one! That makes 8!"
"Eser! Because that's 10 in hebrew. And another! How do you say 11?"
Succoses (Succosim? Succii?) are poppin' up like daisies in the spring. It's so nice. Everyone has a little zip in their step, even the succah building fathers and the decorating and kid managing mothers. But best of all are the kids. Counting all of the new succosesessses (oh, I give up pluralizing that)and bringing home gan-made (morah made, in my suspicious opinion, is my daughter's lovely wall-hanging), building tiny creations on the corners out of leftover scraps of wood, and begging for the ready-made decorations sold on every corner stand, especaily the ones that light up (jingle bells, jingle bells...but which Israeli knows, or even cares, about the tzadik with the long white beard and merry smile depicted on the shiny chains of lights, all dressed in warm winter red?)
And I...I feel a combination of the seasonal excitement, and also a little homesickness for the huge succah that we made in my parent's house on the back patio, filled to capacity with my brothers and sisters, but even more than that for the smaller succah that we used to make in the old house when I was little, in the backyard, and how during the meal we used to run outside and watch the fireflies moving across the darkened sky as the laughter and clattering of forks from the adults in the succah filtered through the fall night air.
Succos is a time for family. I have family 6,000 miles away, but I also have family right here, counting succoses(eses?) and coveting shiny new decorations as we skip down the street in the Jerusalem fall night air.