05 January 2009

Blessings for Grandchildren

As I begin to write, I am completely distracted. I was going to write more about the text, but I don't have the patience right now - even though I've been sitting here studying Torah.

I can't seem not to note that I am sitting in a coffee shop a few tables away from two young women. These women are gossiping (it's not talking, it's gossiping) about weddings and engagements and expectations. One is recently married, and she - all knowing - is talking about expectations of rings and how to make sure he gets the right one, how to find the right dress and how to talk the dressmaker into a year of payments if necessary so you can get married in the dress of your dreams (and how anything more than $2,600 is just simply too much money for a young couple who also wants parents to contribute to a down payment for a house) . . . the other woman just started dating someone right before the New Year, but she just knows he is the one . . . it has been going on and on . . .

These women are easily a decade younger than I am.

I have been trying all week to look around my life and see what I do have. In Under the Tuscan Sun the protagonist realizes that she has everything she asked for: home, family, sunlight . . . and then an adorable American writer shows up - just for her. I won't even pretent I'm driven by higher motives. What I want, what I've always wanted, are home, family, and sunlight (the book and movie both hit a nerve . . . not sure if it was the same nerve exactly, but nerves were hit) . . . I live in a place with far too little sunlight - which is probably the easiest thing to do something about. I've tried for 9 years to make a home for myself here . . .with some success . . .
as for family, I have a lot of other people's children (I work with teens) . . .
So anyway, all week I've been trying to think about what I do have, but everywhere I go - like those words that once you learn them you hear them everywhere - all I seem to see and hear are women 10 years younger than I am talking about weddings and pregnancies.

I think that also might have something to do with the other things in my life - for example my FOUR pregnant friends (and all of their very happy parents).

On Shabbat we read about Joseph getting his family settled in Goshen with himself, Asnath, and their two children. This week we read about Jacob blessing his sons and grandsons.

I also value children and grandchildren. I would like to have both.
Last fall I took a 100 hour class to become certified in training faith-based comprehensive sex educators. During one of the classes we spent about 20 minutes reflecting silently - journaling - on what our focus is (personally) when we think about our primary relationship. Everyone else in the class was either partnered or married, and I was the only person who is Jewish. When I started my journal, I found myself writing as a grandmother - thinking about sitting with my husband and watching our grandchildren sleep on our livingroom floor. I couldn't keep writing what felt so much like a work of fiction and not of hope. After 10 minutes I had to stop and go for a walk.

Lately, when I read the Torah I feel like it is full of unreasonable expectations.

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