“Gotta go, cause if the teacher catches me, I’ll be dead…”
I love how kids talk. I love what they believe. I’m getting a running commentary from Aliza, who has taken her cell phone to school (where she’s not supposed to have it). She called me because she NEEDED to know whether Chaim came into our lives before her sister’s wedding or after. Chaim, as many of you know, is our second adopted son. We adopted Yaakov as a lone soldier (actually even a bit before that). His parents and siblings were in the States and though he had relatives here who were wonderful and supportive, Elie brought him home and he became ours.
After several years, while he was in the last few months of the army, he told us his younger brother was coming to learn in Israel and asked if he could bring him to meet us.
“Before,” I answered her. “He was at the wedding.”
“What about Yaakov?”
“Before that – by a good two years. He brought us Chaim.” When we met Chaim, we told him that if he was Yaakov’s brother and Yaakov was our son, that made him ours as well. So Yaakov remains ours as does Chaim. Their two sisters are in Israel now, one has come to live here and the other is learning here this year, and we’ve basically taken them in. Better even, is that we’ve now met both their parents. They are amazing people, who have raised four amazing children and I love how my children consider them brothers and how they consider my children as theirs as well. I can’t explain the strength of the connection; it defies explanation – it just is.
So, of course, Aliza is including them in this surprise PowerPoint presentation and subtle, she is not.
“Are you going to have a party for your 30th wedding anniversary?” she asks. It’s in October and I haven’t really made plans. I think the timing will be wrong; other things will take over…it’s right around the holidays for one thing. Actually, the week after…who will have energy to organize a party? And do people really want to go to someone else’s anniversary party? Maybe we’ll do something with the family?
“I don’t know,” I answered.
“Well, you should. Then you can show this presentation. It’s really cute. I put in how I asked if Amira was going to be my mother when she got married.” She was 7 years old and didn’t really understand this concept of marriage. She thought she was losing her sister and was trying desperately to figure out what she would have.
Amira was getting married; Elie was going into the army two weeks later. Overwhelming for a 7 year old. She went from having 4 siblings in the house to having 2 in less than a month. Six year’s later – she has three married siblings; her youngest brother is 17, away at school during the week and towers over all of us. She’s an aunt, a doting one, who has taken more pictures of her nephew than anyone else. She is the master collector of pictures and videos.
She’s my youngest…my baby…and she’s still really cute. And thankfully, she closed the phone and hid it back in her backpack so the teacher won’t have to kill her.