Sunday, August 21, 2011

Catching Up

I've been away for a few weeks, so I've been remiss in updating the blog. But the first thing I want to report on is my niece's wedding in Florida, which I attended a little over a week ago. She's the daughter of my youngest brother, an ultra-orthodox rabbi and teacher in Miami, and is the oldest daughter of 5 kids (her younger brother just had his bar mitzvah about a month ago). Naturally, I had to try hard to fit in, wearing a longish (below the knees) dress with a sweater because it was sleeveless). I more or less got by, but no one there made me feel out of place; in fact, they seemed quite happy that I attended, even people whom I hadn't met before (but many of whom recognized me from my picture on the back of the book. I was surprised that so many people attending the wedding had read it, especially since my mother had considered it too "sexy" to be read by my nieces (who don't show the slightest indication of having been corrupted by reading it).

It was about 23 years ago that I attended my brother's wedding in Florida in much the same setting. At the time, my oldest son was only 9 months old, and I hadn't yet had a full night's sleep since he'd been born. I remember taking him into the bathroom in the synagogue to change his diaper (he had been wearing a very cute, red white and blue knit sailor suit, with a beret that had a pom-pom on top, for some reason) and a woman who walked in began to kvell (Yiddish word for 'delight') when she saw him. And she immediately asked when I was going to have the next one. I told her I couldn't imagine having another one any time soon because the first was so hard. She agreed, and said, "I know; I have 13. And yes, the first 6 were hard." (Her point being that after 6 children, the kids raised each other).

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