Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shabbat - 7 Years Ago and Now

Seven years ago today, I was preparing for my Shabbat Kalla, which was a little bit of a disappointment.

(It's ok, the wedding was not!)

In that time, a lot has changed.
I have a husband who I am no longer just infatuated with, but actually know and love - with all his quirks (And he has almost as many as I do).
I have an amazing stepson and two children of my own.
I have a new sister (adopted) who is just a year younger than I am.
I have 11 new nieces and nephews (including the one who was born the next day).

This past Shabbat, I got my dream Shabbat - my whole family was together. Every single person from my side of the family got together at Yad Binyamin. While it wasn't a 5-star experience*, the place was calm and peaceful, and the kids got to play with their cousins for a whole Shabbat in a place with no cars. My kids got to run around freely for the first time pretty much ever. They kept going in and out of each other's rooms, playing with different cousins (fighting with different cousins). We sang together, read Haggadah together. Ephraim, Abby, Asher, and Elazar sang ma nishtana (the four questions), and they did really well, even if there was a little confusion.

My dream of having children who could play with Rachel's children has come true. Kinneret and Nomi are friends, and Ephraim & Yirmi are getting there (they have wildly different personalities, but both are so cute and wonderful that I know they'll be friends soon). Ephraim is currently in love with his cousin Ayala - he seems to think she was meant to be his big sister, and she thinks the same. :) As for cousins their age, Ephraim goes to gan with one of his honorary cousins this year, and will (probably) be in gan with another next year. His cousin Nomi Elisheva is 2 weeks older than he is. Kinneret has a cousin Shira (on my side) who is a year older than she is, and a cousin Shira (on Yaakov's side) who is just a day older than she is.

My older nieces and nephews helped with the kids, reminding me of when they were little and I helped their parents take care of them. I watched them grow up, and now they're having the same experience with my children.

To top it all off, we were staying in the moshav where I attended camp when I was 14. Kinneret and I found my old dorm and walked through some of the places where I walked 20 years ago.

All my life, I've been blessed with a fantastic family. In the past 7 years, I've built my own new family, and few things give me as much pleasure as spending time with my whole gigantic family all together!

*If you're looking for a place for a family Shabbat, Yad Binyamin is nice, but I'd recommend calling in advance to verify that they intend to serve more than 1 piece of chicken or 1 slice of roast beef per person. The rooms are not fancy - rustic might describe it, but they're set up well for a family of 4 - 2 rooms with 2 beds.

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