Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cracks in the Ice

My father's side of the family can be found for the most part on the Ultra Orthodox side of the Jewish spectrum, and in fact, I had not heard from any of my chareidi relatives since the pregnancy.

This week, one of my aunts (who is visiting Israel for a friend's daughter's Bat Mitzvah) called because she wanted to visit me and meet my child. On the one hand, I feared that she had come to judge me for having a child without a husband, especially given that she herself has given birth to thirteen children, most of whom married at the age of 16 or 17.

On the other hand, I felt that this call represented a positive first step in the thawing of my relationship - or lack thereof- with this part of the family.

Trying not to impose my expectations upon the meeting, it went much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Other than several blatant comments about how many children she has raised and how she has "seen it all," my aunt warmly embraced both me and my daughter, took photos and raved about how she could not wait to report to the rest of the family in New York. My aunt even ate from my kitchen, which I did not expect.

Of course I have no idea what she will actually say to the family, whether it will be kind or condescending; but I can hope that the new life energy that Raphaela brings will engender a larger transformation.

1 comment:

koshergourmetmart said...

give people the benefit of the doubt and they may surprise you in ways you never imagined