20 July 2007

Eleh haDevarim...

I was born in New York.

I ate, slept, pooped, moved from New Jersey to Michigan, and toilet trained somewhere along the way. We were the only Jews in our town. I was checked for horns. I taught people about Chanukah. I grew up some. We got a dog.

We moved to Long Island. My sister was born. My mother got cancer. My paternal grandfather died. My mother died. I flew to Israel for the funeral, even though my father told me not to. We sat shiva at my maternal grandparents' home. I finished high school and went to the prom without a date (but did not lack for dance partners).

I went to college. I joined a sorority and started dating this very nice guy in early February, but I had already committed to being some other guy's date for a fraternity dance on Valentine's Day. I dumped the very nice guy on our one-month anniversary. He ended up marrying my roommate from the sorority. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding. In the meantime, I met another very nice guy. I married that one. My maternal grandmother got cancer, and no family from Israel came to the wedding. Before that, though, the dog ran away and I started law school.

I covered my hair when we got married, but only sometimes. The (second) very nice guy and I lived in different states for a while after we were married. Then we decided that this was very silly, and I moved. My maternal grandparents died within four months of each other. I tried to fly to Israel to see my grandmother before she died; instead I was there for the funeral. I didn't fly to Israel for my grandfather's funeral; instead I finished writing a final exam. I attended another law school, started a blog, took the Massachusetts bar exam, and got a job. I started covering my hair all the time - almost.

We bought a new, bigger, apartment. My paternal grandmother died the next day. Fresh out of grandparents, I took a day off work to sleep in the middle of my new living room floor and field international phone calls. My sister got another dog. My father got cancer.

I bought some fake hair to cover my real hair, but never really wore it (except for that wedding where I was a bridesmaid). My father got a little better, then he got a lot sicker. I got a new car. I got pregnant. With twins. I stopped looking for a new job. My father died. I didn't fly to Israel for the funeral. I sat shiva in four places, including an airport.

I grew a little older and a lot wiser in areas where I would have preferred to stay young and naive. I had carrot cake on my twenty-seventh birthday, blew out candles lit in binary, watched an aging Dick Clark fumble his way through midnight, and said goodbye to my last year of non-motherhood. I pushed out a couple of kids.

We made a brit milah and a zeved habat on the same day. We named our daughter for my mother and my mother's mother. We named our son for my grandfathers. We made a pidyon haben about three weeks later. I've made gallons of milk. They've made plenty of dirty diapers.

The (second) very nice guy's paternal grandmother died. He went to New York for the funeral. The (second) very nice guy and I, for the first time, hosted Pesach seders in our own home. Our daughter, not wanting to sleep, joined us for the second seder. Our son slept through both. From this we learn that it was because of the righteous women that Israel was brought out of Egypt.

I wandered in the wilderness, reading blogs and wikis and message boards in the early morning hours, a child draped over my shoulder or held to my breast. Our children grew, a little. Nearly half a year passed in the space of about five minutes, which may explain how the world was (or was not) created in six days. I found my way, lost it, found another. There is no certain way, just faith. I lost my faith, found it, lost it, looked again. It's out there somewhere, or in here somewhere.

Let's go looking together.


Alisha said...

Oh, YAY, you're back! I know, I'm hardly one to talk, but I missed your writing anyway. Besides, you're my "blogmother," so if you started again that's even more encouragement for me to dive back in, or try.

But, uh...I'm a little confused. Isn't blogspot a bit of a regression? I always thought it was for people who didn't have any internet savvy or other hosting options.

Anonymous said...

heh, blogmother. I like that; it fits for me, as well, another Shana blogdaughter. (I, too, have a reincarnation, not nearly as significant a reentry as yours, though I would be honored if you stopped in to take a peek.) In any case, I am beyond-words delighted to "see" you again.

Mazal tov, pama'aim!

shanna said...

I like the blogger software. It's still hosted on a custom domain! Besides, I'm working on a spiffy new template, but I couldn't get it together in time for the parasha.

Abacaxi Mamao said...

Welcome back! And mazal tov! Also, I like the new look very much.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I've missed you and your wonderful writing. I just churn out the same crud every day--with a different random order of characters which supposedly, when strung together with spaces, form words.

Blogger ain't that bad; I am, however, partial to what I can make wordpress do (when the css behaves).

MODoc said...

Welcome back Shanna!!!

Pictures of your little cuties are still on my fridge...thinking of you always. I like the look of the new blog.

I hope you choose to write about some issues other than toddler food(not that it's not important, but...)Did you read the article in the NY Times Mag two weeks ago, "Orthodox Paradox"...that would be a good start... Hey do you know this Noah Feldman? Never heard of him before now, but he's not on my list of favorable Jewish Role Models.

Good luck with the new blog!
Fran from Merrick

Miriam Segura-Harrison said...

oh oh oh!!! its you!!!! i was so sad when your other blog closed down and i thought, "but i never commented there, how will i ever find you again!" but here you are! and i've been reading you all along. both venues. glad you are back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Shanna! I guess you've finally surfaced for air :-)
Since you're equating sleeplessness with righteousness, I'll tell you that I've had 2 exceedingly righteous baby boys!

Anonymous said...

I heart this bio.

So glad to learn that you have a blog, and so glad to discover it's wonderful!

Looking forward to if/when you start posting regularly again. I've subscribed, just in case you do.