Yesterday was my seventh wedding anniversary. I’ve been married for seven years. That’s like having a master’s degree in marriage. A master’s and part of a doctorate (depending on how long it took to complete your undergrad degree, I suppose, or what kind of master’s program…okay, I’m seriously digressing here).
Friday night, after the kids were in bed and the baby was resting, my husband and I were able to sit at the table and just talk. Like we used to do, you know, when we were dating. Seven years ago. Okay, seven and a half years ago.
When Renee and Tikva asked if I would be up for participating in Hanukkah Hooplah this year, I didn’t realize initially that my post would be overlapping so closely with my anniversary. And I wanted to write about both Chanukah and marriage.
So Friday night, I was talking to my husband about this posting conundrum, and we came to the conclusion that I could really write about both in the same piece. Because what is marriage if not the miraculous meeting of two people and their miraculous ability to stay connected despite all the ish that happens to them in their married life?
My husband and I often joke about how our match doesn’t make any sense on paper. He was born in the Ukraine and grew up in a Russian household in Memphis. He became Orthodox in his teens. He’s science-minded and is generally
distrustful skeptical. I grew up in the midwest, going to high school in Des Moines, IA. I became Orthodox after college. I’m creatively-minded and trust pretty much everyone/thing. Basically, we have nothing in common.
Sometimes we marvel at how many pieces had to fall into place just to get us to meet each other. He had to emigrate from the Soviet Union, I had to leave Iowa, we both had to become Orthodox. His brother had to get a fellowship in St. Louis and move onto a certain street. I had to board with a family that lived on a street perpendicular to his. They had to invite me to a Shabbos meal. I had to come home from seminary. He had to not be dating anyone else.
There are a lot of steps involved and a fair amount of near misses. And even while we were dating, we didn’t really know how well suited we were for each other until after the wedding when we started to relax a little more and discovered, to our delight, that we were both a little zanier than we had let on during the dating process.
And despite our differences, which generally benefit our relationship, we really do have a lot in common, where it counts.
Very nice, but what does any of this have to do with Chanukah?
We (my husband and I) were thinking that Chanukah is a time of miracles, but not flashy miracles like the parting of the sea, but quieter in a way. You’re probably familiar with the oil that was supposed to last one day and lasted eight. That’s pretty well-known. There’s also the military battle that the few (the Jews) won against the many (the Greeks). To commemorate these miracles, we say the prayer “al hanisim” (which means, wait for it, “for the miracles”).
With all the miracles it took to get us to together and to get us to learn (and to continue to learn) how to communicate with each other and be married to each other, it just seems fitting that our anniversary falls around Chanukah.
We all have miracles in our lives, and they’re not always flashy. This Chanukah, take a moment to appreciate the small (but big!) miracles that are all around you.
What’s this Hanukkah Hooplah businesss?
Remember back in 2011 when I teamed up with other bloggers to do a Chanukah post extravaganza with a giveaway? This is kind of like that, but the 2014 version! Eight other great bloggers (who are well worth a visit and a read) are sharing their thoughts on Chanukah, and everyone’s offering some sort of prize. That’s eight prizes for eight readers. The only thing you have to do to enter the giveaway (I know, two giveaways in one month on my blog! Lucky you!) is to leave a comment.
The prize I am offering is a mixed CD, made by me, sent to you. Whoever wins can tell me the kind of mood you want me to create, and I’ll pick songs from my musical library and burn a CD for you. Old school style (well, really old school style would be making you a mixed tape, but I don’t even own a tape player anymore, so we can’t do that. Sorry).
If you want to check out the master schedule (and you know you do), click on this picture:
I love Bamboobies! I recommend them to anyone who asks and I’m kind of obsessed with all their products :). Those and a good nursing cover are top of my list.
She won a Milk-Saver from Milkies! Hooray!