Never again will I be able to make fun of a couple who meets, gets engaged, and moves to Israel in less than five months. Not that I ever did before, but never has a period of time gone by so quickly as these past few months.
The first time I met Dil #2 was after I had returned from one of my late-night walks around the pleasant streets of Teaneck. Son #2, Son #3, and Dil #2 were hanging out in the kitchen, and all I could do was apologize that I hadn’t cleaned up the house in an attempt to impress her. Or that I hadn’t cleaned up myself in an attempt to impress her. Within minutes I knew why my son was so smitten with her. She made me feel so comfortable, and we spoke like we had known each other for years — even though I kept apologizing for the state of the kitchen.
And then I turned around and they were engaged. My very religious Oreo, who is nowhere to be found on social media ended up on the front page of a local paper in Long Island. A journalist from that paper, coincidentally, was in the park where Son #2 proposed, and they became front-page news. And even though this reporter spelled everyone’s names wrong, it was still adorably ironic.
Son #2 has always spoken about wanting to live in Israel, and Dil #2 shared this dream with him. But, boy oh boy, were Husband #1 and I surprised when they informed us that they had booked tickets for the Sunday after their wedding date. Which happened to be the day before my birthday (because it is all about me, after all). Their flight actually was on my birthday. I mean, if they didn’t want to get me a present, there were other things they could have done to make their point.
Fortunately, I got to have a playdate with my little strudel to occupy my thoughts. Because, as I said at son #2’s aufruf, it’s wonderful when other people’s kids move to Israel, but it is entirely different when it is your kid.
Back to the wedding. Dil #2 is probably more low maintenance than Son #2 is — and that is hard to be. Son #2 once wore a pair of sneakers held together with duct tape for an entire summer because he didn’t want us to spend money on a new pair. This is probably a good thing, because they are going to Israel with very little. Because God provides. Which is for another column. In any case, planning a wedding with a bride who has little to no expectations is a very interesting experience. The only thing she wanted was a hardcore mechitza — a separation between men and women so no one sees the other one dancing — and because of Husband #1, she was able to get exactly what she wanted. And we still had mixed seating, so all was right with the world. (Again, for another column.)
My thoughts are all over the place, so I apologize for being more scattered than usual. When I was dancing in the middle of the circle with my two beautiful and wonderful daughters-in-law, I was trying to wrap my head around how I had gotten there and how grateful I am for being there and how I wish that feeling for everyone. It was so bizarre. I have spent the past 25 years surrounded by my boys and their friends, and things just keep changing, and you just go along with it. I am hoping that even though Son #2 and Dil #2 will be thousands of miles away, they will still be close with their siblings (and their parents, hint hint). I am just going to pretend that they are on vacation. And, truth is, it is like they are on vacation.
The famous “man plans and God laughs” quote could not have been more appropriate then at Shabbos sheva brachot this past weekend. They were held in the beautiful basement of a family friend of Dil #2. It is a magnificent house, soup to nuts, and the people who own it are amazingly charitable and hospitable people who lend their space out for others to make simchas in. This past weekend was a tad windy and rainy out in the Island of Long, and wouldn’t you know it, the house lost power and sheva brachot were held by candlelight. Yes, about 35 people ate a festive Friday night dinner by candlelight. Because God has a sense of humor, and knowing how sad some of us were about our kids moving away, he needed to do something to make us all just laugh. God is good that way.
May all of our children have their prayers answered and their dreams fulfilled.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck still doesn’t understand why there is always traffic going to the Island of Long…