It’s Friday already. This week has been full. Birthday parties will do that.
We got the Boy a scooter for his birthday gift. I had no idea he would be able to ride it already, but he took off on it like he’s been riding one all his life. He’s ridden it with me as we go on our errand walks two days this week and I watch him pull away from me in baggy camouflage shorts and skate shoes with a red T-shirt riding with all the confidence of a boy who was born to do this kind of thing. He looks like a miniature teenager from behind and I enjoy the bitter sweetness of watching my child grow up.
The Girl has emerged this week in true girl fashion, showing a new gift for organization. I turned around to see why she hadn’t come in yet one day and saw her arranging all of the shoes on our front step into a tidy row, pairs together, all toes facing the same direction. She is now lining up her brother’s cars as well. Today I told them to both clean up their mess while I made dinner. She normally needs a lot of verbal help, reminders, specific instructions, and constant attention. Today she picked up all of the toys in the bedroom all by herself and put them away in the basket, and did it in record time.
The main thing that has brought me joy this week is the family I have married into. In one of their time honored (invented just for them) traditions, birthday people get something special. After every present is opened and the cake all eaten, we all sit down and take a turn talking about why we are thankful that the birthday person was born, and expressing our hopes for their future, usually in the form of a prayer or a blessing. It is a time of calling attention to the things that make us unique and special and encouraging those things that we see in that person and would like to see grow. Every one, from the great grandparents down to the youngest uncle (11) participated in blessing my first-born, and speaking to him the things that are truly wonderful about him. The bachelor uncle who is my age and brought the full model fighter jet with moving parts, he has just moved up a billion levels of cool in the Boy’s eyes if that were possible, rearranged his work schedule so that he could attend his five-year-old nephew’s birthday party.
Tonight we make our weekly pilgrimage to their large home that has housed 8 children, and many more besides, to partake of our Shabbat meal together, and we will as always, sleep at Beema’s house and my children will have other grown-ups read to them and sing to them and tuck them in at night, and grow larger hearts and personalities as they expand into the greater family that surrounds them. As a traditional part of dinner, before we eat the father’s present will bless each of their children once again, and give to them in the ancient ways that they have been given as much of a gift of love and affirmation and a call to something greater than themselves as they are able. They will speak to them of who they are and who they can be as the candles glow in the soft twilight, and I will again try not to cry. I cry because of the ache for something I didn’t have as a child that is awakened each week as they do this, and I will cry because I have been welcomed into this circle of love and I am just beginning to feel as though I belong.
Small Joys Friday was Crafty Momma's idea.