Saturday, July 12, 2008

a man, a fish, a bicycle AND a washing machine

In 72 hours I'll be back in the States, reunited with a washing machine, an oven, and a baby bed. These fairly basic items have been missing from my life these 6 months in Tel Aviv. But I'll leave the wonderful man who has been treating my daughter as if she were his own, and who says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me (with us). I don't know how long we'll be apart, or how we'll be back together. It hasn't really sunk in yet. It will in about 70 hours, I guess. But now it all seems surreal and theoretical.

We spent our first Shabbat together, just us. It was beautiful.

It felt like we were a family. And I loved it. I watched myself in amazement--how calm and happy I felt, how secure. I am fine alone with my girl, but this was different. It was like an entire new dimension. It was as if the joy and peace and spirit of Shabbat were magnified and almost tangible among us, and among the friends with whom we davened, and whom we fed. I glowed as my love lifted my daughter during the Torah reading, just as I glow when she wanders in for his davening when he is with us during the week, and he holds her hand without interrupting his prayers.

I do the best I can alone, but in the orthodox world, men and women need each other to make a complete observance. And that's the beauty and pain of it.

Now we both have difficult decisions to make, and they're more difficult because they involve more than ourselves: will Babydaddy let me make aliyah with baby? will my love be able to find work in the USA next year before I can return to Israel (because no matter what happens, I must return for a year)? Will I survive moving to Israel at this stage in my life and career? Will I be able to give this man the children he wants? How will my daughter be affected by all this?

Maybe I'm just in denial, but I feel calm, and I trust. I will move back to the States without any promises--no ring, no dates, no idea when any decisions will be made. I have only the promise that we won't be apart for long.

I am grateful for the year ahead--will we marry and spend the rest of our lives and our shabbatot together? Or will I dig my heels in and make the best life I can for my daughter by myself in the States, with the help of our fantastic community? After these five months of having the possibility of a partner, I'll know what I was missing before. But I also know that I can do this alone, and be happy, if I need to.

1 comment:

lsw said...

We can't wait to see you back in our neck of the woods.

Mostly, we just want to see you happy!