I will not be going to shul on Yom Kippur this year. I didn’t attend last year, either. And that’s okay. I’m okay. I feel no guilt about it. I’m a nursing mother of a small child and I have no qualms about spending the holiest day of the year sweeping up Cheerios and building stacking cup towers instead of praying in shul, wrapping myself in the awe and fervor of the day.

Why do I not feel the need to be in shul? Most fellow mothers I’ve encountered who stay at home like me have feelings of regret. They feel odd and out of place to be spending Yom Kippur in bed, or on the couch, or at the park, pushing their children on swings and wiping noses. Not me. I’m ready to stay home on Yom Kippur.

I have all of my daughter’s favorite foods stocked in the fridge. My machzor – which will be read from during fragments of rare quiet time – is on the bookshelf. I feel perfectly content. Maybe I shouldn’t. I should be yearning to spend the day with G-d, just me and G-d and my hopes and my prayers. I should want to be in shul, even for a few stolen minutes. My guilty conscience should be gnawing at my heart: “you aren’t spending the day with G-d?!” But then I realize that I will be spending my day with G-d.

You see, on my Yom Kippur, it’ll be me and G-d. And my hopes and my worries, my ups and my downs, my sighs and my smiles, my prayers.

And my little girl, an answered prayer.