It’s a few minutes after midnight. Long ago, my youngest daughter went to sleep. It was another of those nights where she needed a drink, she needed me to sign a test, she needed to put her pencil case in her backpack, she needed a kiss, she needed…
Shmulik went walking with his bride-to-be, then came home and walked the dog. He got today off and helped run errands and then began the long job of reforming our downstairs into a home. It’s a lovely apartment which has been used as an office and storage…and turning it back into an apartment means sorting through a ton of stuff. I spent about 2 hours with him and found 2 shirts, a skirt, tons of pictures, a note from my best friend from 3rd grade, and so much more. He wanted to take another day, but he’s needed back on base tomorrow. Hopefully later in the week or next week, he’ll take another day and continue.
Davidi is asleep in his yeshiva. One of the things I found was an ultrasound image of him. There’s a funny story there. When I returned home from the doctor, I showed Amira, Elie and Shmulik their future sibling. “Who does it look like?” Shmulik asked.
I thought about my kids. Shmulik is dark, as Amira is; Elie was alone with his blue eyes and lighter hair. He deserved someone, I thought and so I said, “Like Elie. The baby will look like Elie.” When Elie was little, I agonized over his looks. My husband and I have both dark hair and dark eyes – all our siblings and parents and grandparents did as well. How was it possible this blue-eyed baby with the blond highlights was ours?
We spoke once, my husband and I, of having Elie tested. Until I realized that in testing him, we were opening up the door to someone taking him away. If he wasn’t ours biologically, they might give us our “true” son, but take Elie. I couldn’t live with that and so I decided I’d rather not know.
Apparently, deep within me, there was a fear and so with this picture, I told them that this one would look like Elie. When Davidi was born…he had those blond highlights and to this day, his eyes are the same grayish blue as Elie’s. There was no way I could have known from the ultrasound and yet…I believe it was God’s way of telling me I was an idiot. Davidi was born a bit over a year after we moved to Israel; Elie was born in America. Clearly, Elie is as much ours biologically as Davidi is. No mistake, silly fears.
So Davidi is asleep; Elie just sneezed upstairs. He’s got studying to do tomorrow but he’ll also run some errands, go to the bank and the mail.
My daughter is with her husband, likely asleep in their home. Me, I’m shutting down in a few minutes but what came to mind is the quiet sense that life is good and blessed. Too many don’t realize it; too many realize it too late. To have a moment such as this is one of the greatest blessings of all.
There’s a new puzzle on the living room table and while we were cleaning downstairs, we found six more puzzles to go. I love having these puzzles – though I have to find a cheaper place to buy them. The table can handle 1,500 pieces and 2,000 pieces. I found the 3,000 one I bought a few years ago. We started to put it together and realized that as big as the table is, the puzzle is bigger so we never did get to put that one together. Maybe I’ll try to find a bigger board this time and we’ll tackle that one. Our standard is 1,500 pieces. The one we just finished was really hard – a pretty country seen…with too much blue and too much green. This one’s easy. It’s Jerusalem, but the stones and patterns are more distinctive. But that’s for tomorrow.
For now, three of my children sleep under my roof tonight; another sleeps nearby, another in Jerusalem…not too far.
For now, a simple message as I join my children in slumber. May God watch over us as we sleep and bring us the blessing of a new day, new challenges, new opportunities and new things to share.