Minnesota Mamaleh: Eight Going on Nine
The sevens on my mind? They’re sappy and sweet. Fuzzy and warm. Lovely and authentic. Jason’s and my anniversary was last week, so they’re oh-so-very wedding-ish.
My absolute favorite seven is the Seven Circles. During our wedding ceremony, Jason and I circled each other seven times under the chuppah winding a seemingly protective wall around our new family. Our completely fab rabbi literally said, “no giggling” when we talked about “The Circles.” And rest assured, there weren’t any. Our eyes, however, were locked. Out of love, definitely. But also to keep track of the circles. You know, to ensure that we didn’t miss any. Or get dizzy. Or trip. Because none of those moves would have done anything to up the mysticism value. Nope not a one.
The other seven that comes to mind is The Seven Blessings. Seven loved ones stepped under the chuppah with us. Each speaking beautiful words and thoughts. Surrounding us with the support, friendship, loyalty and heart that we didn’t even realize we’d need as we jumped headfirst, somewhat blindly, into the first seven years of our life together. The building years per se.
Kabbalah teaches that seven represents wholeness and completion. And as we rounded seven years together last year, we indeed found much closure. Sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, always emotional, closure. We’ve had transitions, changes and something-news up the wazoo. Three kids, two homes, more moves, two career changes, two new schools and the ending of one “era” (well, five-ish years, but you get the gist) and the beginning of another. So we’re leaving magic and entering…the unknown, I guess.
Kayli starts first grade in the Fall. And while I know that she isn’t exactly leaving home, this is a huge change for us, for me. We’re completing the slow livin’-kids at home-diapers and sleep are our biggest worries-phase. I can’t even begin to fathom, imagine, wrap my brain (much less my heart) around how much our life’s pace is going to change as our anniversary numbers grow, our kids do as well, our calendar gets messier and our influences become more plentiful.
While I truly, completely, willingly know that we’re done having children, it tugs at my heartstrings just a teeny-tiny bit to know that the littlest hands that hold mine are only going to get bigger. The littlest voices, louder. And the littlest needs, bigger. I know that our family is complete sans the dog that my kids really, really think that we need. His name is Louie and they all call him “our future dog.” Lord help me.
So as Jason and I enter our eighth-going-on-ninth year, I’m ready to celebrate. We’re “whole” and “complete” after all. But at the very same time, I’m more than just a tad nervous (is terrified too strong of a word?) about the whole new set of worries that I’m buying. Academics, friendships, self esteem, pressures, teachers, relationships.
Luckily for us, Jason doesn’t buy worries like I do. So this last weekend we focused on celebrating. A family date followed by a just-us date.
After the kids were blessedly, quietly, peacefully asleep (at least in theory), we had a just-the-two-of-us date. It wasn’t a get dressed up-put on some make up-and fancy shmancy it up-kind of date. Although I do love those. It was a stay at home in our pajamas-drink a glass (or two) of wine-and talk well into the night-kind of date. And I love those, too. A good old Minnesota storm raged outside and woke the kids up intermittently. It was so-very…us.
Relaxing? Rejuvenating? Not so much, actually. But oh-so-very-worth it. And fun. And it had a bring-us-closer quality that can only come from jammys. And wine. Clink!
Now I’m not going to lie to you here. My approach to change is similar to say, my children. Heels dug into the ground, deep. Fists clenched, eyes closed. You know, just a like a kid at a play date when it’s time to go home. Or at the park. Or even better, at a play date at the park. Just like that.
Admittedly, I’m holding on tight to those first seven years. But in my heart-of-hearts, even I know that change is hard but good. Bitter but sweet. Tricky but important. So I’m treading oh-so-very lightly into this unchartered territory. Of school-age kids. And if my sweeties keep stubbornly insisting on growing, changing, maturing. I guess that I can, too. Happy eight going on nine, babe. Clink to us. Clink to our kids. And sigh…Grudgingly. Oh-so-very-grudgingly. Clink to change.
I think our girls would get along famously. Maybe we can put them on the road for a traveling singing and dancing extravaganza.
I loved this post.
Amy would vouch for the fact they’d like mine too!
I just love that celebrating & being *in* & knowing all the while you’re loving this, you will, really & truly move along if begrudgingly to the next & guess what? I know you’ll love that too. I find myself feeling wistful about the idea of not hanging out with my eldest (four years, college, although he promises my alma mater Hampshire just 15 minutes drive!). Then, I realize I’ll love seeing where he goes & however we connect I trust will be glorious too. It’s being present for all that’s the secret no one tells you; that’s how to make it all feel full.
I hear ya. Oh, yeah. Change? What’s that? Sorry, can’t hear you, I have my fingers in my ears lalalal…
We just celebrated anniversary #9, and the kid is one year away from kindergarten. Can’t even imagine what life will look like next year.
Great post! I love counting the years. And look at the three wonderful little people you’ve managed to accumulate during this time. Seven days of creation, and you certainly have created something envying.
I think I’m in the minority on this one. I actually like seeing my kids grow up. I was never one of those mothers who cried when her kid started Grade One. I love the connection with Big Kids as much as the connection with Little Ones.
I love your idea for date night. That’s pretty much what we do most dates. It’s way too difficult to find a babysitter for 5 (not so quiet) kids.
Another beautiful post, Galit! I can definitely relate to the “digging my heels in” response to change, especially with a birthday this month. I love your description of the wedding circles, I wish someone had mentioned that to us. The whole thing just felt silly and we insisted on only doing 3 circles. I think we did four 🙂
Mazal tov on your anniversary, and wishing you many, many happy returns! (BTW, just as seven represents completion and wholeness in nature, eight is considered to be a symbol of that which is “above or beyond nature” – e.g., Chanukah, brit milah, etc.)
P.S. I love that you posted the photos in black and white! It gives your lovely pictures a wonderful, timeless quality!
We’re ancient, 40 years.
Another great post. I feel the same way about seeing the kids grow. Mine are 6 1/2 – 3 1/2. Maybe one more little one in our future, maybe not. Who knows? We are coming up on 12 years together and I can tell you the 2nd seven (from my perspective) are even better than the first seven. Happy anniversary to you!
BTW- I love reading about your traditions and such!
Happy Anniversary. Very well written.
amy, lol sounds like a fabulous plan! they’d be a smashing success, i just know it! thanks for the visit & comment; both are much appreciated!
erica, thanks so much lady! that means a lot to me! 🙂
sarah, too funny! sounds like a the-more-the-merrier kind of crowd with all of our kiddos! 🙂 and i’m trusting you here, lady, that the next phase will be equally magical! thank you for the gentle reminder to be present and there. that seems to be the secret in many, many cases, right?
tzipporah, hi there! shall we lalala through the year together?! lol thanks much for the support. as you can tell, it’s much needed!
mirj, thanks so much for the thoughtful words (as always). and, for the record, right back at ya. right back at ya, indeed!
shira, hi! i think your way is lovely and to be strived for. i keep telling myself (over and over again) to look forward to the next stage. one day i’ll get there. i’ll let you know when it happens! 🙂
debbie, lol happy early birthday to you! i can’t wait to read about (and most likely try!) your birthday treat! & i’ll inch my heels out if you do !:)
mrs. s, hello! thank you so, so much for the anniversary wishes, photo props and the lesson in 8s. how much do i love that?! and the symbolism is completely fab– we’ve created our family and now it’s time to live, above and beyond. thanks for the new angle/ spin. i think i needed that! 🙂
batya, hi & thank you! mazels right back at ya, lady! 40 years is *definitely* something to be proud of!!
april, hi! i’m so glad that you’re here! happy 12 to you and thanks for the 2nd half being better bit. i seriously *love* hearing that! and for the record, i’m adoring learning about *you,* too!! 🙂
& susie, thanks so very much, lady! much appreciated!
This post was so romantic. Who of us ever wants those moments to end?
It’s hard to believe that life can/will get any better than it is right.this.minute. I think it has a ton to do with attitude. No matter the stage our family or relationships are in, if you’re full of love and positive thinking, each step is as grand as the last. Right? You turn the page and it’s still all good.
Happy Anniversary…belated, but still. Many, many more coming your way!
christine, hi! i *love* your words! “romantic” “full of love” “grand as the last” good, good and more good. thanks for the positive energy and outlook. love and appreciate *that!*
You write so Beautifully about everything, and particularly about family and love and kids and your husband….Change: It’s inevitable but it is difficult sometimes. But it sounds like you have a handle on that fact. It is weird though, nothing changes really, but nothing stays the same, either. Go figure! I love all your pictures, always.
thanks so very much lady! change really *is* one of those quirky on-going things that happens all around us until we (sometimes painstakingly) take the time to stop, notice and reflect on it. *sigh* and that handle on things? i’m workin’ on it! thanks also for the photo props– i’ll take photography compliments from you any day!! 🙂
What a great post! I can totally relate. My kids are 8 and 20 months. I wish I could slow down time, but like you I realize that time shall prevail. The only thing we can do is appreciate each and every moment while enjoying that glass (or two) of wine you refer to 🙂
hi tara! excellent to hear from you! indeed, i love that we all have the same mantra: enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! i wanted to add “and wine, wine, wine” but that *so* didn’t sound right! 🙂
Beautiful. You may like this song – Seven Circles – that Peter Himmelman wrote for his wife as a present for their seventh wedding anniversary.