Tonight was the last night of Chanuka, and we saved our big family present for tonight. My husband and I decided to break it into two parts. The first part was a poem that my husband wrote for tonight. He cut it into eight parts, gave each child a part, and then they pieced it together. After putting it together, my 14 yodd read it out loud for everyone.
The Best For Last
They say you should save the best for last
Now, all but one of the days are past.
Tomorrow night Chanuka will be gone till next year
But there’s one last present for our family so dear.
Mommy and Daddy and H-shem had it planned
Several months ago and we thought it would be grand
If we saved it for this holiday of light
And waited and waited until the last night.
It’s something that each of you has several of
But we get the feeling it’s something you love.
So, without further ado, we’d like you to go
To the milchig drawer and then you will know.
Halfway through this poem, the light went on in my 12 year old dd’s eyes, and I knew she realized what it was. But no one else did, so they all raced into the kitchen to find what was in the drawer. When they got there, they opened a folded piece of paper, to find a full size coupon there. It said:
ONE NEW SIBLING IN MAY
Some of the kids had to read this several times before it registered. When they did, they ran back into the living room and started dancing and hugging each other.
Afterwards, all of my kids told me their initial thoughts and reactions on hearing the news. My oldest son was expecting a family membership to the JCC (I’m still planning to get that, but it will be delayed for another week or so), so he wasn’t really listening carefully to the poem. The build up and presentation had him convinced it would be a membership – he’s one of those who had to read it several times, because he was so sure of what it was that it took him a couple of minutes to realize he was off track. Since the baby is almost 16 months old, he said he had already (!) resigned himself to us remaining a family of just eight children. My dd14 felt very stupid that she wasn’t paying close attention to what she was reading, but last night she had a dream that we were having a baby, so she wasn’t suprised. She’s “been expecting it for months”, since she also had a dream about it a few months ago. At that point, she made a note of the date of her dream so she’d be able to check it later on whenever I told her I was pregnant. Tonight she looked for the note about the past dream and was disappointed she couldn’t find it. She also said she thought I looked pregnant but didn’t want to say anything. My dd12 is the one who figured out the poem – she’s very excited. She was looking thoughtful later in the evening, and I asked what she was thinking about. She said she’s trying to decide if she wants to go to camp in the summer and miss a month of ‘that tiny baby cuteness’; right now she said it wouldn’t be worth it to go. Ds9 said he was totally taken by surprise. They’re already putting in their bids for what gender they want the baby to be. They asked my 2.5 year old if he wants a new baby, and he calmly said, ‘No, I don’t want a baby’. I told them not to talk to him about it and make a big deal of something he’s too little to understand.
I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get to this point without all of the kids realizing it on their own by looking at me (I’ll be officially five months along in another few days), but I made it! We haven’t yet told our parents, though I’m sure they all noticed that I look heavier than usual. My 9 yos suggested we break the good news to my mom for her birthday in less than two weeks in a similar way to how we told them. Everyone likes that idea. As far as telling my inlaws, I’d really like to just have the baby and then let them know, but I think we’ll have to tell them sometime in the next month (though I keep thinking, if I could wait until six months, I could wait until seven, and what’s another couple of months past that point…). That’s one advantage of having a smaller family – when you announce number 2 or 3, your parents are usually happy for you.
So now we’re duplicating the spacing we had with our first three children: 17 months between 1 and 2 (and then 7 and 8), then 20 months between 3 and 4 (and be”h 8 and 9). Being pregnant is an amazing gift and I’m so grateful that we have been blessed again!