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The Luckiest

I don’t get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns
The stumbles and falls brought me here

I wanted to play the kids Squeeze’s 45s and Under but I didn’t have it on my iPhone.  This was after I had sung the same six or so lines of “Goodbye Girl” over and over again while I washed dishes.  Maybe they didn’t really want to hear Squeeze sing it, but I wanted them to hear Squeeze sing it.  Sometimes I pretend that I can’t hear them protesting while I scroll through the artists list.

Except they were spared because I didn’t have any Squeeze on the iPhone.

I didn’t really feel like listening to anything else, but I already had the music app open, so I put on Ben Fold’s Rockin’ the Suburbs.  I sang loudly through the first two songs, as if that would help the twins like the album better.  Because my voice warbling off-key louder than Ben Fold’s voice makes it that much more enjoyable.  The twins ignored me.

“You know that one of our wedding songs is on this album,” I told them.

“Oh my G-d, do we have to listen to something in Hebrew?”

“No, it’s in English.  Do you want me to skip to it?  It’s a love song.”

The Wolvog rested his forehead on the table, as if mushy songs shove him downward like an upperclassman dangling his head over a toilet.  “Please.”

“Okay, I’m going to take that to mean that I should skip to it.”

I skipped straight to the “Luckiest” at the end of the album.  Actually, first I fought the iPhone to get the screen to turn from the horizontal view to the vertical view.  Then I muttered to myself about how I didn’t know how to get back to the song choices.  And then I pushed a bunch of buttons.  And then the Wolvog came over to help me even though if I was actually successful, he was going to have to hear a mushy love song.  Then I skipped straight to the “Luckiest.”

They both stared at me while I sang the first verse by myself, but then I coaxed the Wolvog to dance with me.  He formally placed one hand around my waist and weaved his fingers through mine in our outstretched hands.  We swayed around the kitchen while I rested my cheek on the top of his head.

“When I danced with your daddy at our wedding to this song, I had no idea that 12 years later, I would be dancing with my little boy in our kitchen.”

I know that is always true.  We can always look back at a moment and realize what we didn’t know back then which is taking place now.  But there was something about that song, about the concept of fate, of holding my son’s hand, of the scent of his head, that created a bridge between the then and now, bunching together all the tiny moments as if they were just flowers in a bouquet.  They seemed so important in the moment; the fights and the phone calls and the awards and the deaths and the births and the blood draws and the movies and museum trips and jumping the waves on the beach.  Moments — when you’re in them — seem so huge, so all encompassing, capable of changing your mood, of blotting out the sun.  And then 12 years pass and those individual moments seem as tiny as beads gathered on a simple string: all the same size, all small and round and pretty to think about as you sway in the kitchen.

“Were there iPhones when you got married?” the Wolvog asked, breaking into my thoughts.

“No.”

“Do you know they’re releasing iOS 7 soon and it’s going to have many amazing features.”

“Shhhh, you’re destroying my perfect moment of remembering my wedding and realizing that I’m dancing with my son to the same song I danced with my husband.”

“I want to dance too,” the ChickieNob told me as the song ended, and the Wolvog started it back up again (any excuse to touch my phone).  The ChickieNob danced with me until Josh came home and cut in.  He moved slowly, at first holding me formally and then sliding his arms around me until we were in a long hug so I could cry into his shirt.

I am the luckiest; I recognize that now even though there have been times when it hasn’t felt that way.  I didn’t get things right the first time or the fifth time or really any of the times that we tried without assistance.  But all those wrong turns and stumbles and falls brought me right back here, from the library where I married Josh to the kitchen where I made him dinner, and it brought me to those two children ignoring my music as well as their dancing parents.  I would never wish for the wrong turns and stumbles and falls, but I am glad that this is where I ended up.  I can’t imagine any of those other tries — those other boyfriends and those other pregnancies — being as sweet as this.

*******

Every single year, we get a do-over.  We get to do every single day again just with a different year tacked to the end of the date.  Today is the last day of 5773 on the Jewish calendar.  Tonight, Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year — begins, and it brings with it a lot of hope.  That this year will be different, this year will be better, that whatever didn’t work in the past year won’t be repeated again, that whatever worked in the past year will continue to be perfected.  Humans never learn.  But I like this idea of hope sometimes.  Today, it’s a small good thing.

L’shana tova — happy new year, everyone.  May 5774 bring us all a lot of happiness.

31 comments

1 Mali { 09.04.13 at 7:54 am }

Happy New Year, Mel. You got me a little teary on that post. I think you’re doing most things right!

2 jodifur { 09.04.13 at 7:57 am }

I don’t love country music, but this reminds of the line of that Rascal Flatts song “G-d bless the broken road that led me straight to you.”

L’shana tova

3 Kasey { 09.04.13 at 8:16 am }

Happy New Year! Im not Jewish- but I am happy to celebrate a new year and new beginings. Last “year” was rough. I definetly shed some tears during your post. So often I remind myself that there is reason for everything and eventually it will all make perfect sense. It sounds like you had your “uh huh” moment.

4 Tiara { 09.04.13 at 8:29 am }

“And then 12 years pass and those individual moments seem as tiny as beads gathered on a simple string: all the same size, all small and round and pretty to think about as you sway in the kitchen” This is truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

Happy New Year to you!

5 Peg { 09.04.13 at 8:34 am }

Happy New Year! I’m going to fully embrace the new beginnings and start the whole week fresh.

I loved your comment about having the Wolvog trying to push a little normal life into the touching moment. Tears and laughs at the same time.

My favorite Ben Folds song btw. My little sister and her hubby danced to it at their wedding too. I actually can’t listen to it without crying so whenever it comes on the ipod and the kids are in the car I have to turn it off or I’ll embarass all of us.

6 gurlee { 09.04.13 at 9:06 am }

Oh my, you have me in tears at my office.

Beautiful.
Happy New Year.

7 loribeth { 09.04.13 at 9:16 am }

LOL at the Wolvog too. Parents & their dumb music, sheesh. 😉

Gorgeous post, Mel, I am teary eyed here in my cubicle too. Happy New Year!

8 Nancy { 09.04.13 at 9:30 am }

Happy New Year! Your post was simply beautiful!!!

9 Nancy { 09.04.13 at 9:31 am }

Happy New Year! Your post was simply beautiful!!!

10 Collette { 09.04.13 at 11:00 am }

What a lovely post. (And now you’re not crying alone!)

Happy New Year!

11 jjiraffe { 09.04.13 at 11:33 am }

Lovely post, Mel. L’shana Tova to you and yours.

12 a { 09.04.13 at 11:34 am }

Happy New Year to you – and many more.

That was definitely a Perfect Moment…

13 K { 09.04.13 at 12:05 pm }

Happy New Year. Beautiful post as always.

14 Juanita { 09.04.13 at 12:19 pm }

Happy New Year! My there always be hope.

15 Juanita { 09.04.13 at 12:19 pm }

Happy New Year! May there always be hope.

16 Juanita { 09.04.13 at 12:21 pm }

(Sorry, couldn’t spell because of the watery eyes!)

17 Esperanza { 09.04.13 at 1:23 pm }

My sister learned the piano for that song and then recorded herself singing it while playing the piano to send to her boyfriend for their anniversary. She gave me the CD to put in the mail and when I came back from mailing I found her sobbing because her boyfriend had JUST broken up with her (over IM) only moments after I left the house to mail it. This was before I had a cellphone and she couldn’t reach me and she was mortified that I had sent it. She was so angry and embarrassed. I felt horrible for her and that song has always had a negative connotation for me which sucks because I LOVED that song and it felt so unfair that her asshole boyfriend ruined it for both of us.

Anyway, I just had to share that story of that song. I think about it every time I hear it or it is mentioned.

18 Esperanza { 09.04.13 at 1:23 pm }

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

19 It Is What It Is { 09.04.13 at 1:26 pm }

This made me teary as I’m already raw getting ready for H to start 1st grade tomorrow and the baby on the verge of crawling.

So, so happy for you. Happy New Year!

20 Tahnya Kristina { 09.04.13 at 1:41 pm }

Happy new year. Ben Folds is a great band. This post was very pretty and wonder-filled. It definitely makes you think for sure.

21 JustHeather { 09.04.13 at 1:42 pm }

Such a lovely post and thoughts. Include me with the others and tears in their eyes.
Happy new year!

22 Catwoman73 { 09.04.13 at 2:20 pm }

Happy New Year, Mel. This was beautiful. I am already emotional today, having had a very rough second day of school with the wee woman, and this post made me weep. I wouldn’t have wished for all the bumps in the road, either, but I wouldn’t trade what I have today for anything. Thank you for this.

23 Valery Valentina { 09.04.13 at 3:18 pm }

“We swayed around the kitchen while I rested my cheek on the top of my head.”
of HIS head I hope 😉

” I can’t imagine any of those other tries — those other boyfriends and those other pregnancies — being as sweet as this.”
You couldn’t imagine because of this moment? this song? Because other times/places like in London, you could almost touch your imaginary child, so vivid?
I’m not sure where I am on the scale of -if -then -else my child would be a different one. But I’m sure that we all would love our children, no matter if they miscarried or not even conceived.
(sorry if this doesn’t make sense, maybe what I mean is more complicated to put into words than I thought, it feels so simple though)

24 Ann { 09.04.13 at 4:37 pm }

OMG, The Luckiest is our wedding song too. I always feel a special bond with people who have chosen it, because I think it is a non-traditional pick, despite being a perfect fit. I have appreciated your blog for years for the support it has given me during some very rough times, and I love the snippets of yourself and your family that you choose to share. And now I have one more reason to think that you must be a pretty awesome person. I am going to head home from work and dance with my 2 1/2 year old son to this song and appreciate it a whole new way.

25 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.04.13 at 5:21 pm }

Love love love that you had a perfect moment while time traveling, just like I tend to do.

Happy new year, my friend.

26 Pepper { 09.05.13 at 8:41 am }

This is a beautiful post. I love, love, love it. I thought about it all day yesterday after reading it in the morning.

27 ana { 09.05.13 at 1:40 pm }

This is one of the loveliest things I have ever read. And it brought tears to my eyes and made my heart sing. Moments…beads on a string…what a fantastic metaphor.

28 Jo { 09.05.13 at 8:09 pm }

This made me cry. Seriously one of my favorite posts ever.

29 Mina { 09.06.13 at 8:53 am }

Happy New Year! And thank you for writing something to make me smile and cry at the same time. It has been too long since I have read such a moving post. 🙂

30 Laurel (Dawn Storey) { 09.07.13 at 10:44 pm }

So, so, so beautiful it made me a little weepy. Happy New Year!

31 Justine { 09.08.13 at 9:23 pm }

Finally catching up on reading … L’shana tova! I love the idea of those moments as tiny beads, all the same size. Especially having been in the middle of one of them this week.

Like whitewater rafting, too, maybe … when we’re on the crest of a wave, we feel like we’re going to have the breath sucked right out of us … but when you look at the river in its entirety, standing way back, they’re just tiny ripples.

I love new years for this reason … it’s a hopeful way to mark time, and to give ourselves a new start.

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