Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mother-Child-Grandmother Circles

     Like Russian nesting dolls, we hold people inside ourselves.
     At first, we are in awe of our ability to share with God the art of bringing life into the world.
     It doesn't matter how many births there have been throughout history: we think that we invented it with each new child.
     Poetry and radiant light hover around us and these new beings. We are in perfect harmony with the universe... briefly.
     Then comes the day when we are mystified and made small and helpless by their uncontrolled fits of unhappiness for which we have no cure.
     Later, they can be understood, somewhat better – but they are made entirely of hands. A blessing! She found her own feet. She understands that they belong to her! But then... Hands that must explore everything, destroy with a dance in their eyes, with a dance in their hearts, but totally free of evil intent. Hands that are seemingly everywhere at once.
     We discover that our time is not our own. We only want to experience going to the bathroom by ourselves, without them banging on the door, crying for food, comfort, attention, amusement... for just five freaking minutes.
     We cannot remember what it's like to take a shower alone. Exhausted, we feel guilty for loving them most easily when they are sleeping.
     They grow larger, more beautiful, more amazing... they take our breath away.
     They drive us batty.
     The memes we share on Facebook speak of our common understanding and our common frustration.
     We open our mouths, and our mothers come out.
     We roll our eyes together and nod in shared understanding: 15-year-olds should take over the government quickly, while they still know everything.
     Our shared love of the video of the lady singing to her daughter to the tune of the William Tell Overture will never fade, not even when we are grandmothers.
     Only then, we will laugh softly together at how our grandchildren are carrying on the tradition, and how we are coming out of the mouths of our daughters.
     And we will marvel at the nearly painful sweetness of watching our babies holding and teaching and crying over their babies...
     Like Russian nesting dolls, we will always be holding people inside ourselves.

If you haven't seen this, you must: The Mom Song to William Tell Overture


  1. Wow, this is so good. One for the books! A gem! And, oh yeah, the William Tell mom song is a must see! Thanks for once again ornamenting my world (an expression from an old Laura Nyro song), mama.

    1. Ah, beautiful words! "Ornamenting my world." You have certainly always decorated my world, loving friend, with the best brachot EVUH. Thanks for reading and relating, dear well-loved Tante Shalomis.

  2. כְּמוֹ בַּבּוּשְקָה רוּסִית,
    בֻּבָּה בְּתוֹך בֻּבָּה,
    בְּתוֹך בֻּבָּה
    מְקֻפָּלוֹת בִּי
    אִמִּי וְסָבָתִי
    וְאֵם אִמָּהּ
    וְכָל הַדּוֹרוֹת,
    שׁוּרַת נָשִׁים שְׁקֵטָה
    כְּמוֹ שְׁדֵרָה שֶׁל כֹּחַ