Back in the spring of 2010, your Dad and I decided to host a seder for the faraway fam you call Bubbie and Zeidy and Grandma and Pop. It would be the first time we played holiday host to all four of the Prospective Grandfolk since that time, back in 2007, when the ‘folk got introduced at Thanksgiving, after which we got engaged, then married, then worked on you.
And oy vey, bubala! How we worked!
Because even before the Grandfolks touched down and we started lying about why it was that, though we unquestionably would have preferred the fermented variety, we opted for four glasses of sparkling grape juice on the first night of Passover, your Auntie and Uncle – remiss for having to miss the seder and having scored a couple of tickets to the symphony orchestra – arranged a visit a few days prior. And they arranged to shack up with us. Smack in the middle of my cycle. So that, much as we’d have to do with the Grandfolks only a few days later, your Dad and I made excuses about needing time to ourselves to “clean house.” Cough: Clean house. Right.
And that’s not all. Because before the visit with Auntie and Uncle, and before the seder with Bubbie and Zeidy and Grandma and Pop, we’d have to triumph over The Week: that period of seven days during which lots of tough and trying and wonderful little things happened to make us still more poised for you.
Take, for example, how it rained for many days and there was a flood in the driveway and, one morning, in wellies and pjs, I had to scramble to move the cars to dry land.
And how I had an interview for a job I wanted very badly. And how I nailed it. And how, at present, I’m crossing my fingers for a call back.
And how I got the news that I might very probably require insulin in pregnancy and how the diabetes nurse educator over at Newton-Wellesley – sensing my panic for still another shot a day for nine (plus) months – suggested she could help me practice and see for myself that it’s really not so bad. And I did. I did that thing I’d been dreading most about pregnancy itself; I shot myself in the thigh with a syringe full of water to simulate what it’s going to be like before which I thought about you and decided you were worth it. Proud and relieved, I wanted to tell everyone I knew what I’d done, but I couldn’t. So I didn’t. I told Dad.
Then spring sprung. Dad and I took a long walk, each day, for five days in a row because we could.
I had at least one meltdown having everything to do with the arrival of your grandmothers: the same women who make a habit of demanding grandkids, forgetting that you’re at least partially out of my control, and that – truth be told – I’m not making you for them! And how dare they come up in here demanding grandkids and infiltrating this house when I’m ovulating! Not helping your cause here, ladies. Not. Helping. Your. Cause.
Then – though by the time you’re old enough to read and understand, you’re going to wish you never knew it – my ovulation predictor kit indicated an unmistakable LH surge. See for yourself. Even if you don’t want to. It was time. So, one cool spring morning, your Dad and I gots to gettin’ after which I drove him to work in the city and drove all the way home thinking of you: thinking of how, one day, in much the same way as I bug Grandma and Pop for the story of me (not the sordid details, just the big picture), you’re going to ask me about the story of you.
And this is what I’m going to say.
I didn’t know if that bright purple line would be the immediate and straightforward precursor to nine months of your living in my uterus or whether, perhaps, you’d take a more circuitous route. I didn’t care.
Because, on that cool spring morning, though I wasn’t sure She was even listening – and, hell, maybe He’s just a feeling – somewhere between Boston and Newton Corner, I checked in with the Great and Powerful G-d. And I told Her I needed to talk to you. That I was ready. That Dad was ready. That your grandmothers were too ready. That the world was ready. That, next year in Jerusalem, I wanted you with me. Uh, pardon me, Elijah, somebody’s sitting there.
And a Michael Buble song came on the radio: a song I’d never heard before but decided, since it was so clearly the story of you and me, that it would be our song. It was, I am certain, one of a series of tunes in a dj’s playlist or a request from some young romantic, but I made believe for a moment that it was a special dedication from the Great and Powerful Herself. The Almighty’s Answer that you were on your way.
And I know that we can be so amazing.
And being in your life is gonna change me.
And now I can see every single possibility.
Someday, I know it’ll all turn out.
And you’ll make me work, so we can work, to work it out.
I promise you, kid, I’ll give more than I get.
I just haven’t met you yet.
Next year in Jerusalem, child. Next year in Jerusalem.