The kittel

The kittel

As some of you might have figured out, son #1 got married last week.

It was so amazing and so beautiful and I am so thankful to God for bringing my family to this point. Really and truly. I take none of this for granted. With all of the heartache we have had this year, son #1 and his beautiful bride have been a bright spot. When my dad was in the hospital in March, the one thing that kept a smile of his face was when I told him that his grandson was dating. Every time they went out, I would fill my dad in on the details (what little detail that son #1 shared with me) and he would just grin.

So here we are. Many people have asked why I haven’t written about any of the wedding preparations, the engagement, about the “girl”; well, it is simple. I was not allowed to. No pictures, no posts, no columns — no nothing — until after the wedding. Apparently we didn’t want to scare her off. And for those of you cynics, yes, she has met me, and yes, she did marry my son anyway. And, most important of all, yes, I really love her. Although — and I even have said this to her — if I didn’t like her, would I really tell anyone? Especially a random stranger who asked me in Cedar Market?

In any event, for the next few weeks, my columns will be about the blessed event. If this annoys you, I apologize, but I have waited a long time to write these columns. Keeping quiet is not one of my strengths, so I hope you enjoy them. They are not in order of events, so bear with me.

Husband #1 and I walked son #1 down the aisle. I wanted to hold his hand, but he insisted that the three of us lock arms. Since I had been crying all week, I was determined not to cry. I had been practicing standing up straight and not rolling my eyes because everything is caught on video these days. I even had taken some screenshots from the Only Simchas Instagram page of mothers of the groom making awful faces while looking at the bride. I was not going to be one of those. And, truthfully, how could I make an awful face at the amazing and beautiful woman who was marrying my kid? Not possible.

We get to the end of the aisle and walk up the step to the chuppah (the wedding canopy). It was then my job to put on son #1’s kittel. The kittel, for those of you unfamiliar, is like a white robe, but the whole thing is made out of the same material as a shirt, so it is really like a long white shirt. My understanding is that the groom wears it to symbolize purity and holiness. But I could be wrong. In any event, son #1 had warned me a few days earlier that the kittel might be a little small, but he had chosen this one (which was bought for him by his new and lovely in-laws. I say lovely because 1. they are, and 2. I think they are going to be reading this column and possibly some others in the future…) because the larger size was way too big. So he is standing under the chuppah and I have to go get the kittel, which is hanging up, all the while remembering to stand up straight and not roll my eyes.

I first have to unbutton it and then help him on with it and then button it for him. As I start doing this, I am looking into his blue eyes, and I realize and say to him that it is so bizarre that I, as his mom, was the first person to dress him when he was born, and here I am, almost 23 years later, dressing him for the last time before he gets married. I had never even thought about that before, and I have been to a lot of weddings.

But buttoning up his kittel, it was like I was having a flashback to putting on that first onesie, so before I started crying again, I made sure his collar was straight, gave him one last hug, and then went to stand next to husband #1.

And that is all for this first wedding-related column.

I would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy new year. May this year be filled with only good things and even better things for me to write about and, hopefully, make you laugh.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck was very excited to buy the first gown she tried on and Leticia from Miri in Englewood is the greatest dressmaker/seamstress lady in the world!!!!!

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