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322nd Friday Blog Roundup

I love delurking week.  I love seeing the people who crawl out of the woodwork and those who I knew were here but still take the time to wave.  Thank you for being here.  Thank you for letting me know about you.


Wednesday night into Thursday was Befana Day.  I write about it every damn year.

What?  You don’t command a perfect memory of my blog and remember the story I told y’all last Befana Day (which I swear to haShem is a real holiday).

Fine, gather around and I’ll tell it again.

Many years ago, my friend and I were in Italy in the winter and we were staying at a fantastic 12th century palazzo overlooking the site where Dante’s wife was born. The tradition of this particular hotel was to have guests sign this huge guestbook with a small story about themselves and then you could read back who stayed in your room before you.  We were sitting in the living room with the Miranda, the hotel owner’s daughter, reading the book and discussing some other hotel-goers who had particularly noisy sex, when we mentioned that we were going to San Gimignano the next day.

Miranda told us that we wouldn’t be able to get there because the trains wouldn’t run.  It was January 6th, otherwise known as Befana Day.  What’s Befana Day, we asked, and this is the first version of the story:

Once there was a woman named Befana. She was cooking and cleaning and just trying to get through her day when three men came to her house and asked directions to Bethlehem. They told her that a baby had been born who was G-d in human form and they asked if she wanted to come with them to see the new baby. Befana said no because she thought she had already used up too much time giving them directions and she went back to her cleaning and cooking.

A little while later, she thought about how she had just missed this amazing opportunity because she had been so focused on this end goal of having the house clean and dinner cooked. She ran out of the house with her broom and apron and tried to find the three travelers (who were, of course, the three wise men). Befana still goes from house to house to this day, trying to find the baby and leaves gifts and candy at each house she visits.

But there’s a second version, one that might touch closer to home:

Befana was an old woman who was finally a mother after many many years of infertility. The king learned that a baby would be born who would be G-d in human form and he ordered all baby boys to be murdered. Her son was killed in front of her but in her grief, she refused to accept the loss. Instead, she piled together all the things she had made for him, all the hope she had infused into these tangible items while she waited for him, and went out wandering around the world with this sack on her back.

One night, she came to a manger and in her grief, she thought she had found her son who she believed to be lost rather than dead. She placed these items in the manger and the baby’s family saw how deeply this woman grieved from not having her child that they named her Befana, the giver of gifts and gave her a special blessing. One night out of the year, she is a mother to all of the children in the world. On that night, she travels from home to home, leaving presents for children, to remind them how much they are wanted.

I’m not sure how much I love this second version of the story which plays into all the stereotypes of crazy grieving mothers, but there is a part of me that connects with Befana and her grief; much in the same way Fertile Hope eloquently stated her new and strange relationship to Michelle Duggar.  Befana, as she says, is my people.

Befana brought the Wovlog a robot that he named Robo (which stands for Really Odorous Bat Orifices) which took Josh and the Wolvog forever to put together and now races around our kitchen.  And she brought the ChickieNob a Rapunzel doll.  And both kids got candy galore.  And a request from Befana (since one comes every year) that they always remain close.  All in all, it was a nice Befana Day.


The Weekly What If: what would you want Befana to bring you this year.  Must be something inanimate that can fit in a shoe or on top of a picture of a shoe.

I am still bucking for an iPad, but the saucy minx didn’t bring me one.


In case you didn’t hear about this yet, Susan Niebur at Toddler Planet (with help from Sue at Laundry for Six) has started a new project bringing lymphedema sleeves to people suffering from lymphedema after surgery (many women who have mastectomies experience lymphedema).  I just think it’s a great project that has very quickly exploded into enormousness.  Plus, Susan is this amazingly wonderful person, a provider of Enfamil coupons and lover of science.  If you haven’t gotten involved yet, run don’t walk.


And now, the blogs…

Near the 5 year anniversary of trying to build her family, Waiting for a Baby Bump reflects on the journey to that moment.  She brilliant writes, “Infertility can only be a stranger for so long and then it comes back front and center like that damn PMS zit.”  But it’s a beloved children’s author who makes a surprise appearance in this post (as well as some of his immortal words) that should make you click over immediately.

On the Lanai has a post about a strange maybe-prophecy from a sister who was not only predicted into existence, but has also had an uncanny ability to foreshadow other things.  I hope her words come true.

Lastly, I really loved this post by My Rotten Eggs about the comments she has received as of late.  While I’ve gotten the first one, I’ve never actually had someone say the second one to me.  Go over and share your favourite thing that has been said to you recently.

The roundup to the Roundup: thank you for delurking.  It was Befana Day.  Answer the Weekly What If.  Susan Niebur’s new lymphedema sleeves project.  And lots of great blogs to read.

Still adding (a lot) to the Creme de la Creme, so check back this weekend.


1 Jesika { 01.07.11 at 9:44 am }

Oh, I am just so thrilled to be in your Round Up!!
I LOVE your Befana stories – both are touching. I will share that I wouldn’t mind finding a positive pee stick in my shoe… it’d be a great way to start the new year!!
Thanks for continuing to be amazing~

2 Esperanza { 01.07.11 at 10:42 am }

Thank you for sharing those versions of the story. I love hearing about other people’s traditions, especially ones that touch so close to home.

I was also wondering, how do you choose blogs for the Weekly Round Up? Do you just find ones you like as you’re reading or do people submit them? Just curious.

I love your blog! And the community you hold together. Sometimes I wonder where we’d all be without you! Thanks for writing!

3 aisha { 01.07.11 at 11:45 am }

Just wanted to say- had the iPad for the week I was in DC (swiped it from my uncle who got it for free and couldn’t care less about it, but not SO less that he was willing to just give it to me, lol) and used the iPad as my primary mode of contact with the internet and. though I was SOOOO psyched about this. . .. meh. Just a big ipodtouch really- I didn’t see the justification what with the heavy price tag. I mean for $200 or so YES but the price its going for now? Not for what it does, IMO. Just thought I’d let you know incase you have not had extended time with an iPad what my experience was with it.

4 Sushigirl { 01.07.11 at 1:38 pm }

I’d love a positive HPT stick, obviously! But apart from that, hmmm… a big, fat cheque! This IF stuff is expensive!

5 HereWeGoAJen { 01.07.11 at 5:17 pm }

How about NEW shoes for my Befana present?

6 a { 01.07.11 at 10:11 pm }

I would like an iPad too – and I know it’s just a big iPod Touch. 🙂 And I’m not a fan of Apple products either. But it looks like such a fun toy! Maybe Befana could come and take down all my Christmas decorations too…that would be helpful.

7 Kristin { 01.08.11 at 1:29 am }

Oh Befana…I really want my very own house elf. He (or she) could help me clean up all the Christmas decorations.

8 NotTheMama { 01.08.11 at 8:11 am }

I was gonna say a baby, but hopefully s/he would be a little big for a shoe… So then my next thought was extra dark chocolate and a dr pepper… But let’s go big here! I’d like a big stack of money, large bills only, to make my dream of international adoption and SAHM come true. I mean since she is who she is and all! 😉

9 Jenny { 01.08.11 at 8:25 pm }

I saw a quick blurb on the news the other night about a couple in the US who won a big chunk of a super big lotto and walked away with $90 million after taxes. If Befana could bring me a winning lotto ticket the likes of that one I would greatly appreciate it (hey bartender – how about a round of IVFs on me?)!

10 coffeegrl { 01.08.11 at 11:53 pm }

Right now I’d really like a Nook. Turns out my Kindle (which I love) can’t be used for books downloaded/borrowed from the library. Major drawback 🙁 But the Nook can do this. And I really need some books in English and my home library is kind enough to lend them digitally but I can only read them on a laptop which is frankly a little too big to drag into bed. *le sigh*

11 Betsy { 01.09.11 at 4:09 am }

Thank you for choosing me for your Weekly Roundup! I am so flattered!
I am so happy to have found this blog. The amount of blogs listed and information is overwhelming! Although infertility really sucks, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.
Can Befana just stick a big ole’ wad of cash in my shoe?

12 Heather { 01.10.11 at 8:54 am }

I love Befana. Always have. Always will.

I wish she could bring me my grandmother’s metal nail file. I know that sounds stupid…but I remember her pulling that sucker out of her wallet so many times. She would carefully make sure her nails were perfect…not because she was vain, but because she always wanted to be able to hold our hands.

I would love to hold her hand again.

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