Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Best is Unexpected

If 13 years ago someone would have said, 'You are going to attend B'not Mitzvah of both the Jacobs girls,' I would have laughed and said, 'Yeah right.' First off, I'm not Jewish.  Not that it matters. I consider myself part of moral support. The one that keeps the athlete going, the bride from running out, and the Bat Mitzvah smiling while reading the Torah for the first time.  No, my doubt would have come from the fact that I generally don't stay in touch with people long enough to watch their children grow. 

Yet, there I was, five years after her older sister Thalia's Bat Mitzvah watching another Jacob girl cross that bridge to adulthood. As her family members filtered into the ceremony, I thought about the crazy way I'd gotten to know this family.  As a journalist, I frequently interviewed the girls' father when he worked for a tourist organization some fourteen years ago.  Later, I unwittingly arranged to interview their mom about Hanukkah in the synagogue where we sat. Many years later our paths crossed again when Thalia and my son dated.  By then their mom had remarried a wonderfully humorous man who would run five years of RPGs for me and the kids.  Thalia and my son, no longer dating but still friends, walked in the same graduation. During their dating years I primarily knew Miriam as Thalia's little sister, but as Miriam's personality expanded she became an entity in her own right.

Looking back I'd say all the threads of my life have been fairly predictable.  I'm the kind of girl who could say with a straight face 'I'll have my agent call yours' and still consider you a pretty good friend.  At the same time, I rarely get to know my friends' inner lives-- their spouses, children, siblings, or friends.  I don't make a big deal about invitations to weddings, graduations, confirmations, awards banquets, etc. I give praise genuinely with hugs and smiles, but don't necessarily need to be part of the action unless that's just how it pans out. However, this event was different.  After attending Thalia's Bat Mitzvah and celebrating a couple other religious events with this family, including furiously wrapping my family's Christmas presents at their home during Hanukkah, I think I would have been hurt if I hadn't gotten an invitation. And as I think of my crazy timeline with this wonderful family, I think of Dungeons and Dragon, and how much we all grow as individuals during this campaign called "Life."  And in that light, Miriam deserves a lot of XP for making it this far in her adventure.

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