For me, the twelve months were a time of introspection. I went back and forth on my desire to have babies, on my position on shalom bayis, on my dreams of a happy home. As the months, then weeks, then days came closer, I built up a trousseau of linens and dishes, clothing and soaps. I went to kallah classes and romanticized about what being a Jewish woman would mean.
I had only a picture to go by, and sometimes as I peered at it, I wondered if I’d ever get to love this man, gradually replacing that question with the anticipation to give, and share, and love.
Six weeks before my wedding, my mother gave birth to my brother Shimon. Yes. And in case any of you are doing a double take, save it for later, because four weeks after my wedding, my mother-in-law gave birth to my brother in law Shulem.
I held the little package of skin, bones and screams on my shoulder, his hairy head at my neck, and called him “my little feather” because he calmed my screaming nerves. My mother had already helped me set up my apartment before giving birth, and now we just had to put up the silk curtains in my bedroom, and lay on the linen, and the beds looked so puffy with hope, and there were little perfume bottles on my mirrored armoire.
Life would be perfect.
That’s the feeling I got married with. Life would be perfect. There were fancy plates and placemats waiting for me to cook my first meal. There were bookshelves waiting to be filled with books and albums. There was a couch waiting for us, and a little lamp, and me, all filled with anticipation.
I think I’d consider the beginning of our marriage a giant, never ending date. It was a date where the outcome was already assured, where failing was already prevented, where dreams could be built, one day at a time.