Folks, unemployment is hard. I'm super-busy trying to do all of the networking necessary to find a job, acknowledging the "who you know" part of the success equation. Also, Jacob has recently been downsized so we're home together, which is delightful and a little scary. We're trying to take advantageous of this unique opportunity to extend the honeymoon-ish period and to get to know each other better in a setting that is not vacation and where individual work still needs to be done while we are in each other's presence. Mostly, we love being together and sometime conflicts arise. I am confident that we are setting good precedents for the rest of our lives together because we have the space to do it deliberately and for that, I am grateful, even if the opportunity costs of our salaries seems a little steep.
I have recently begun to realize that my family has had a similar unique privilege of getting at least a decade to be in an adult child dynamic without the distraction of little kids. My youngest brother is 30 and my oldest brother is 42 and in April, the first grandchild of my parents will be born. We have had the luxury to mostly grow out of our childhood insecurities, jealousies and baggage and get to know each other as adults. This includes my parents, who are remarkable in their willingness to be self-reflective about their habits and the way that they raised us, examining and acknowledging the mistakes they made and accepting our thanks for the vast majority of things they got right. It would be so easy for them to settle into their senior citizenship with blinders on like so many people do and yet they do the hard work of continually changing and becoming more loving so that we are sustainable as a family unit.
On another note, I have been spending some of my energy creating a new online community with another blogger. We are done debating whether or not intermarriage is killing the Jewish community. Nowadays, fifty percent of marriages that involve a Jewish partner are intermarriages. Folks like Jacob and I are intractably part of the Jewish community and now the hard work needs to be done to change the community norms to value what families like us have to offer rather than continuing to hold us at arms' length for fear of contagion. Hannah and I have started a blog that discusses how that work is being done through stories and thoughts from our own lives. We hope to create a forum for others like us who want to be constructive in determining the Judaism of the next generations. Please visit us at www.fiftypercenters.com and participate in the discussions or just read what we're up to. If you have a blog of your own, I would appreciate if you would link to us in your blogroll and consider writing a short post about our project.
I love this blog and this community that has been created around my adventures. So many of you have expressed privately that you gain something important from my writing. Do not fear that I will love my new child more than my older child. It's just not possible. Hang in there. We'll sort out this new family dynamic and be rolling again soon. I couldn't be gone for too long. I promise.
books recently read in the house by various family members - Every few months I print out covers of the books the girls read so they can glue them in their book journal and take notes and keep track of what they have...