One of our seminary girls, who had been to us for shabbos several times when single, was newly married.
We invited her and her new husband for shabbos.
Now, there are newlyweds who admirably try to avoid socializing as a new couple with other new couples, lest one husband become too friendly with the second wife, and so on. It's a way to protect their new marriage, and I totally get it.
Anyway, we invite them. We are many years their senior. I believe my husband had been her teacher.
Item: we had not yet had children.
They decline the invitation. "We just got married," said they, "and we only go to families for shabbos."
My husband and I didn't qualify.
Now, obviously that was thoughtless on her part, and I don't hold a grudge against her for confusing "people who just got married" with "people who have no children" because naturally everyone married over 9 months has babies and thus becomes 'a family.'
But clearly, this made an impact on me. Granted, a sort of "I can't beLIEVE she said that!" impact.
So when did our 'family' start?
When we got married? When we passed the warranty period? (Moot point, I didn't save the receipt.) When Sroch was born? Does one kid do it? Or did we need Llama to properly enfamilize us? Wait, most families in my neighborhood have 4, 5, 6 or more kids - are we still not there?? And all those pictures from our wedding, us with our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins - were those my parents' family pictures, but not OUR family pictures, because we technically hadn't sired any of the people in the room??
Yoav and I are a family. Our children were born into our family, broadening it, modifying it, even transforming but not originating it.
It's on my mind as I'm about to post these great "family pictures" we did, with the 4 of us + Saba and Savta (who I am respecting by not posting their pics, but trust me, totes adorbs). I posted a handful on Facebook - and people keep saying we're a beautiful family, bli ayin hara.
A family. Huh.
Our 16th anniversary is in a handful of days.
My eldest is but 9, but we started this family 16 years ago.
Not belittling the gift that is my children.
Just appreciating the gift that is my family.
An entity greater than the 4 goofy people you'll see in the next post.