Archive | February 2016

On the day before the bat mitzvah

I’m in tears already.  It’s not yet six thirty, and the idea that we’re here, that it’s tomorrow… There’s still so much to do, I can’t find Sam’s shirt or tie or suitcoat, I have to buy tights for me, and Jessie, and all the plasticware, and decorate everything and today’s going to be a frantic mess.

And tomorrow… it’s here.

I’m not ready to have my daughter be a Jewish adult.

I know that I am, in theory.  I know that “Jewish adult” doesn’t mean actual adult.  I know that she’s not moving out tomorrow – but it’s almost more significant for me than if she was just moving out.  (I know that’s a lie, just flash forwarded to the day that baby moves out and started crying for real).  But this whole “taking responsibility for yourself” thing is a BIG deal for me.

So much of this past year (past 13 years) has been about transferring the power over to her.  She has to be the one in charge of her life.  From deciding what to eat, what to wear, when to do your homework, which friends to have, what to think, all of that is hers.  I mean, it was, all the time, but she had to learn how to do it.   And taking responsibility for yourself, spiritually, is a really big deal for me.

I think because there was so much weight on this decision.  The whole concept of deciding on a religious foundation for her, for them, was such a struggle, and this is what it was all about.  It almost feels like we spent years and years agonizing over this, over deciding what we wanted for our children – and this is the end result.  She’s going to stand up there, in front of everyone we love, and take ownership over her own relationship with God.  She’s going to say “This is who I am, this is what I want, and I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for me.  But I’m ready now to take it to the next level, to be who I am and to define Judaism on my terms.”

I know I’m projecting, I know her biggest thing is that she’s hoping she won’t pass out or vomit up on the bima.

Fourteen Years

Fourteen years of marriage is different than I thought it would be.

It’s waking up early too early, worrying about kids, and money and jobs.  It’s turning on the coffee pot that he got ready the night before and checking the heat to make sure it didn’t drop too much overnight.  It’s a king size bed with a sleeping child snuggled up against him.  It’s folding laundry while the shower warms up, and wishing your sleepy husband a happy Valentine’s Day/anniversary in one breath, and asking him to get rid of the dead mouse in the trap in the kitchen with the next.

It’s coffee while the kids are sleeping, wondering when we’ll be able to fit in that date night we’ve been promising ourselves for three months.

It’s calling him when you’re frustrated and hurt, needing him to talk you into doing what you know you need to do.

It’s coordinating kid pick up and kid drop off, trading responsibilities according to who has the most flexibility at that moment.

It’s watching him play minecraft for hours, because your little boy sharing something he loves is worth more than anything.

It’s roundtrips across Worcester, twice, and ending up bringing him home anyway, because sometimes playdates are hard.

It’s listening to your five year old sob and yell her way thru an exhaustion temper tantrum with you, while your husband is chilling out in the next room, and not hating him for it, because you know he needs it.

It’s planning a bat mitzvah.

It’s knowing that your van has snow tires and his doesn’t.

Fourteen years is missing some of the romance, I guess.  It’s less about proving to each other how much we care, and more about living our lives together.  It’s about still arguing over communication, the fights you start off having are the ones that you continue, but it’s also about knowing that nothing is really going to change, and that’s okay.  It’s knowing that you have a partner.  That your world works because there’s two of you.  It’s knowing that he’s seen you at your worst, and still thinks you’re beautiful.   It’s knowing that he sees you in his children and loves them a little more because of it.  It’s seeing him in your children and loving them a little more because of it.

It’s dreams of the future, and goals that are being met.  It’s the every day struggle of trying to make everything work, and dirty dishes, and can-you-think-of-anything-different-for-dinner-that-the-kids-will-eat.  It’s Shabbat dinner with everyone talking over each other, and dishes, always dishes.  It’s overflowing bookcases, and baby dolls all over the couch.  Legos on the floor, audio books in the car, and too many dollhouses to count.  It’s unmatched socks, it’s lost cups of coffee that he finds and brings to you before they get too cold.

Fourteen years isn’t about flowers and chocolates, it’s about steadfastness and constancy, and laughter.  It’s about deciding that what’s best for both of you, and doing that.  It’s about wearing his shirt to bed, and him clearing off your car before you leave for the day.  It’s so much more than romance, it’s so much more than you thought it would be.  It’s forever.  It’s a family and a life and a world that you always dreamed of having – one that simply wouldn’t have existed without him.

Happy anniversary, Marc.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you, and am grateful every day for the world we’ve created together.

I’m back

I didn’t blog for the past month.   For a variety of reasons, and someday I’ll blog about them, but right now, suffice it to say that January was a BAD month.  But we’re all still here, healthy and hanging in.  17 days until the bat mitzvah, and we’re actively searching for a dog as an emotional support animal for my little guy.   Julianna is reading now, sounding things out, and is so proud of herself.

Julie had a rough night last night (which is, thank God, incredibly rare).  There are days when I want another baby, when I think about being pregnant and having a tiny little one again – and then I have a night like last night.  She was asleep by eight, but up at midnight, and then every two hours after that.  For no real reason – she wasn’t even talking.  Just whimpering… but it’s enough to make me rethink that whole wouldn’t-it-be-fun-to-do-it-all-again thing that I do periodically.

Jessie broke her elbow a week and a half ago, and we’re all suffering along with her.  One of the glories of Jessie is her emotional intensity – and the fact that she feels everything 150% makes her life either incredibly challenging or incredibly wonderful.  Yesterday, she managed to sprain (because it would just be ridiculous for her to have broken it, I refuse to believe it) her big toe.  She was locked out, and kicked the door, as hard as she could, over and over again.

Sammy – my Sammy.  It’s been a tough road for my little guy, and we’re still trying to figure it out.  He’s had health issues which aggravated his anxiety issues – and we’re in the middle of trying to figure out the best path forward.  Homeschool, on-line school, deschooling, in-home tutors – it’s all on the table, and I don’t have a clue as to which is better.  There’s no way to know with any certainty, and it’s… well, that’s why I haven’t been blogging.  But he’s healthy, relatively, and when he’s not incredibly stressed and anxious, he’s great.  Cuddly and sweet, and hopeful that we’ll figure it all out.