Nov 8, 2012

"Everything is a Gift from G-d"


I'm reading a book about an irreligious Jewish woman and her quest for a baby.  She was raised Conservative, dropped all religious practices, married a goy, was an ardent feminist to whom her career was her top priority.  Then she woke up and discovered that having a baby in her late 30's was not going according to plan.

A particularly interesting chapter is when she goes to visit a childhood sweetheart who became frum after his bar mitzva, married a frum girl, and went on to have 15 children.  Needless to say, the author cannot begin to relate to their religious choices and to their chaotic household with kids coming and going.

The beautiful part is where she writes that her friends assumed that Larry had made Beth have all those kids, but that wasn't true.  Beth told the author that they had so many children because she wanted them.  She said, "When I was young, I spent a lot of time at our rabbi's house.  They had 11 kids.  I liked the atmosphere there.  I wanted a big family too.  And I'm excited every time I find out I'm pregnant.  It never gets old.  It's such a miracle.  It's the same with the milestones; it was just as exciting when number fourteen took her first steps as it was when number one did."

Larry was a doctor, often doing 16 hour shifts.  He said, "I like everything I do.  I like the kids. I like my job.  Everything is a gift from G-d, everything.  Part of this for me is realizing we're not in control of everything.  Some people don't use contraception and have no kids at all or, unfortunately, have difficulty. Other people have two children or six.  If we have fifteen children, that's what's supposed to happen."

* This is not the family from the book.

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