Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God's Secret Plan to turn me into a Jewish mother

Phew! Busy week. But fun.

Cramming Passover and Easter together makes for hectic times. Whose idea was that, anyway?

Oh yeah. Right. God's. Never mind, God. Forget I asked. (It doesn't do to question God.)

See, I have an eclectic family. Most of us are of the Christian persuasion, but my darling daughter (DD for short...and she is. Ba-dum-bum. Sorry, honey, but it's true) is Jewish.

When DD was in high school she met a Very Nice young man who happened to be Jewish. Let's call him BANP* (which wasn't applicable at the time, but since I'm blog-naming him retrospectively I'm going with it). They dated. Went to two senior proms together (he was a year ahead of her, so they got to do both). Fell in deep and abiding puppy love.

In due course, BANP went off to the Naval Academy and DD went off to a small college to nurture her nerdly comp. sci. tendencies. All the parents involved waited for the inevitable drifting apart that happens in 99% of these high school romances.

Well. No drifting. Distance did nothing to thwart the young lovers. (Which was perfectly okay with the aforesaid parents, who had grown to love each other's children during this time.) Through the modern miracles of email, instant messaging, and cell phones, DD and BANP kept their love alive.

Now, DD is a dual-brained sort (left and right hemispheres equally active) so she had a double major: the Computer Science I mentioned, and Religion**. In the course of her religious studies she came to the conclusion that Judaism was a better fit for her. This, I have always suspected, had something to do with the fact that she was traumatized at a young age by the Santa scene in the movie A Christmas Story, but whatever. Since her dad and I had raised her to think for herself, we could hardly complain when she did. So, after a few years of studying with a rabbi, DD converted, with her parents' blessing.

[The three rabbis who grilled--I mean, questioned--her at the conversion ceremony looked at TG and me kind of funny. Apparently, not too many parents attend these, typically being a little upset about "losing" their child. TG and I didn't see it that way. Why wouldn't we want to be a part of such an important day in our daughter's life? See, to us, that was key. HER life, HER choice.]

Let me back up a little here and mention a rather selfish thought I had when DD and BANP first started getting serious. It *cough* may have entered my mind that since BANP was Jewish, if they ever got together on a permanent basis, at least we could always count on having them with us for Christmas, since his family obviously wouldn't care! Brilliant, huh?

Uh-huh. Until I found out that BANP was born on Christmas Day. Yes, my daughter married married a nice Jewish boy who was born on Christmas. (If he could walk on water, I'd be really nervous.)

Damn it, I thought when I found out. His parents probably want him to be with them on his birthday. Who wouldn't? Divine retribution for my selfish thought.

However, since God is merciful, it has turned out that we do (when the Navy permits) get DD and BANP for Christmas. The restaurant that was BANP's birthday tradition with his family closed, so they can all come to our annual Christmas Eve glögg-fest (glögg is a Swedish mulled wine served at Christmas time) instead. God works in mysterious ways. :)

In return, BANP's family has included us in their holiday celebrations, too. We just shared a wonderful Passover seder with them--we loved it! Did you know you have to drink four glasses of wine during Passover seder? Wow. Talk about the perfect holiday for me. And the food! *still drooling at the memory*

The best part of this whole set-up is, I figure I'm an honorary Jewish mother now. Mother of a Jew = Jewish mother, right?

I've always thought Jewish mothers have the best mothering gig evah, so pardon me if I get a little verklempt thinking about my good fortune.***

*Bad-Ass Navy Pilot

**I keep telling her she should start her own online religion--even offered to keep the books for her--but does she listen to her mother? Noooo...

***I've just realized how old this post makes me sound. A married kid? Me? Well, you should know that TG and I married and had kids very early. We were 12, if I recall correctly. At least mentally. And DD & BANP married early too--I believe they were 10. But mature for their age.


muffintopmommy said...

Hilarious! And sweet. And you are a great mom to be able to "let go" and be happy your daughter is exactly who and what she wants to be! I love the Jewish religion because it is so steeped in history and culture (Um, and good food. Let me be honest. It's mostly the food for me. I'm always shaking down my Jewish friends for holiday food.) But one question? Your daughter being so smart and grown up now...did she ever magic marker the ottoman?


I'm fascinated by this whole thing, as I grew up in a area where we had maybe one or two token Jewish kids. I'm not terribly familiar with all the traditions and holidays, but I sure do love to hear about it. Maybe I could convince my mom to convert so I could have a Jewish mother too?


Linda G. said...

Hi, Mufftop! No, DD never magic-markered the ottoman that I recall. She did chew up the coffee table, though. (We have since given her that coffee table, which she displays with pride in her living room, toothmarks and all. I believe she thinks it makes a nice "Don't mess with me" statement.)

Tawna -- does your mom appreciate really good food and holidays that encourage drinking? If so, she may be a good fit. ;)

Unknown said...

My sister (a Catholic) married a Jewish doctor (naturally) and my kids think their cousins are lucky to get Hanukkah presents and Christmas presents. Neither my sister or her husband are religious the other 364/353 days of the year, so I've got to agree with my kids :)

Linda G. said...

Hi Nicole! I know a lot Catholics and Jews married to each other. One particular couple refers to their children as "cashews." They say it's appropriate because their whole family is kind of nuts. ;)

Unknown said...

fun post! (I love the son-in-law's name)

Linda G. said...

Thanks, Karla! Son-in-law's blog name suits him. ;)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Hi Linda G.,

I was laughing at your comment on Nicole's blog and had to come visit you, especially since we have the same last name lol!

Funny stuff! I'll be back :)


Linda G. said...

Hi, Karen G! Great last name we have. ;)

Glad you found your way over here--you're very welcome to visit my reality any time you like. :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Oh and thank you for coming over to my new blog as well. With a title like Visiting Reality I'm very surprised that you don't write from real life. I guess you save it for your blog posts :)

Linda G. said...

Karen -- the name of my blog is from a plaque my daughter got for me. It says "Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there."

Since I make up stories, and thus "live" in my head a lot, it seemed appropriate. :)

Lola Sharp said...

Cashews!! :o) That's funny.

I don't think I know any Jewish people in real life, aside from a few non-practicing agents and editors.
But if they get good food, I'm in!

Linda G. said...

Hi, Lola! Good food, lots of wine, and the holidays are great! :)

Adriana said...

Fascinating post! I'm so glad you linked to it from your latest. I love BANK's name :))) Also, I think you set a record for how many times you mentioned God in one blog post :))