This morning I woke up suddenly from a dream that was so real that I kept thinking about it all morning. In the dream, I met someone with the power to grant one wish for me. I was about to tell her that I wanted to have enough money be able to buy an apartment for each of my children and then just before I responded, realized she had overheard dd17 mentioning to me that she’d like to get married young. At that point I smacked my forehead head in dismay when I realized the person was going to grant dd a wish she didn’t know she’d made and then woke up.
Your dreams reflect your thoughts during the day, and I think this was part of my dream because: a) we’ve been thinking about buying a house in the insanely expensive real estate market that is the Israeli reality and I’ve been feeling concern about how my kids will be able to do the same once they’re married, and b) yesterday a woman who used to be my neighbor called to let me know her 19 year old son is engaged.
Other friends have had kids getting engaged but so far all of them have been just a step ahead of me in their stage of life so while some of these things felt close, I could keep telling myself my kids are too young. Then I spoke to my neighbor who just turned 38. I told her she didn’t seem old enough to be a mother-in-law; I met her when she was one month pregnant with this son and haven’t seen her since she was a very young mother of three children. She told me she doesn’t feel like she’s old enough either, and I responded that I’m very happy my oldest is only 20 and I don’t have to think about this yet! She said she would have preferred if her son could have waited another couple of years to begin dating. But she’s chassidish and said since all the young men begin dating when they turn 19, it would have reflected badly on her son if he hadn’t started as well.
Then at lunch time, dh got a call from an old friend. The last time I saw this man, he was single young man in his mid twenties who was a guest at our Shabbos table! He got married not long after that so he must be in his mid forties by now. He had seen my son at a wedding recently and wanted to know if he was dating. I’ve had a few people approach me about ds20 but I’ve told them he’s not interested at this point (the same thing I’ve said when asked about dd19 and dd17).
I don’t know why this call unsettled me more than other people who have approached us. Maybe because I was overhearing dh’s call and I processed it differently; maybe because of the effort this person clearly made to seek us out. Part of it was if it was a year from now this would be a serious suggestion and I’d need to be able to deal with it. As I sat there I felt the need to mentally prepare for this stage of life, to have people calling me and needing to take it seriously and ask the right questions and do the right research.
The main part of it was because I felt intimidated to hear a suggestion like this. The family is related to to some very well-known and well-respected role models in the Jewish world. Edited to add – this situation brings up some areas of difference between my beliefs and the mainstream charedi position. As a result, I’m apprehensive of being looked down on as not religious enough.
This post was supposed to be about something else, but I’ve often found I start off writing about one thing and something different comes out. My conscious mind doesn’t have an issue with this at all – I trust that whoever each of my children marries will be a good person, I’m pretty accepting of who I am at this point in my life and believe that people can be different but still respect others – but my subtle discomfort revealed that I need to do some more work on letting go of what others think of me so that I’ll be fully ready to embrace this stage of life when we get to it. In the meantime I’m still grateful that I don’t have to deal with this yet!