It was nothing even remotely enormous or earth-shaking, just further proof that HaKadosh Baruch Hu runs the world with exacting precision, down to the smallest detail.
Our daughter had, baruch Hashem, given birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy, her third boy of six children, ka’h. And in case that in and of itself was not ample reason to rejoice, her bubby managed to sweeten her simcha just a bit more. Not only did she awaken at the crack of dawn to make it to the Thursday morning bris on time, she also very graciously accepted the young family’s invitation to join them for Shabbos!
Having their incredible matriarch as a guest in their home from Thursday through Sunday was truly an unexpected and much-appreciated treat, and they were beyond honored to be able to host her at this extremely happy (not to mention hectic!) time in their lives.
On Shabbos afternoon, Bubby was sitting at the kitchen table, admiring the beautiful tulip centerpiece and catching up with each of her beloved great-grandchildren in turn. When the conversation eventually wound down, she turned to our daughter to compliment her on the sturdy, comfortable, and attractive kitchen chairs on which they were all sitting. “Where did you buy them?” Bubby asked.
“Oh, it was quite a hashgacha pratis story!” answered the new mother, and proceeded to tell the following tale:
It was shortly after I had given birth to my last son, and I was pretty overwhelmed and exhausted. We had bought our kitchen table and chairs second-hand several years earlier, and although the table was solid wood and very strong, the chairs were soon in awful shape. We desperately needed to replace them, but with four young and very demanding children and a full-time teaching job that required loads of preparation and ‘home’ work, I simply did not have the time and energy to look for new chairs.
So we just turned a blind eye to the sorry state of our chairs and prayed that they would hold up in the meantime, and that no one would get hurt chas v’shalom.
Then one day, soon after the bris, my husband mentioned that he was stopping by the local breakfast cafe, and asked whether he should buy me anything. I was actually craving something sweet and relatively healthy, so I responded, “Thanks. If you’re going anyway, I would love a chocolate chip muffin.”
He returned a few minutes later carrying a brown paper bag, which he proudly presented to me.
However, a rudimentary peek inside the bag alerted me to the indisputable fact that the coveted chocolate chip muffin I had requested was not chocolate chip at all, but rather chocolate cheese! And while by then I was salivating for a fresh chocolate chip muffin, I was practically gagging from the mere thought of a chocolate cheese one!
Unfortunately, my husband had to rush off to work, so he reluctantly and quite literally left me “holding the bag.” However, instead of giving up on my dream muffin, I decided to bundle up the baby and toddler, drive to the cafe, and make the exchange myself.
I got the kids ready and buckled them into their carseats, drove to the store, unbuckled them, and transferred them to the double stroller. And as if exchanging the muffin wasn’t embarrassing enough, as soon as we walked in, my toddler announced in a loud voice, “I have to go!”
Apologizing profusely, I shuffled off to find the bathroom at the back of the store and help my little one take care of her business. But, as I was returning to the front counter, I noticed dozens of pretty wood/metal upholstered chairs practically filling the back room. So while I savored my chocolate chip muffin (at last!) I inquired about the unusual sight.
“Someone had a lot of chairs to sell for a good price, so we bought the whole lot, but we honestly have no use for so many,” the store owner explained matter-of-factly.
I asked if he would be willing to sell six of them to us, and he was more than happy to oblige, passing on the significant savings to us as well.
So there you have it! Because of a chocolate chip versus chocolate cheese mix-up and a toddler’s urgent need, we ended up practically tripping over the perfect kitchen chairs at a rock-bottom price!
And as she sat on one of those very chairs, cuddling her latest newborn in her arms, both she and her one-of-a-kind nonagenarian grandmother shook their respective heads in wonder at Hashem’s miracles, both large and delectably small.