The early milestones in my life were not happy ones, revolving around death and displacement. I also was sick for part of my early adulthood and the years blended together into a blur without any milestones to mark the passage of time.
So, when I met my husband just over four years ago, it was almost as if my life started back up again in overdrive. Our milestones have been making up for lost time I suppose. Almost four years ago I had our son and 13 months ago our twin daughters were born. In the past five years, I have moved eight times and lived in four different cities. While all this roving around has been exciting, it has also been exceedingly stressful and exhausting. The time had finally come for the moving to stop.
Two years ago we landed in West Hartford, Connecticut, where we fell in love with just about everything and everyone who crossed our paths. We knew fairly quickly that this was it–the place we were going to put down roots and raise our children. We could think of no better place to celebrate all of our family’s future milestones.
I had dreamed of having a husband and kids, and all my daydreams also included a home to call my own. After living in so many temporary places, I yearned to live someplace where our Ketubah hung on the walls and my Shabbat candles had a permanent place to be lit every Shabbat. Where I could plant something and see it flower every year and where I could hang pictures without worrying if the holes would prevent me from getting my security deposit back. I wanted a sense of permanence, a place where I could unpack all my boxes and settle in for the long haul.
And so that brings me to last week. After two hours of signing papers, my husband and I became first-time homeowners. I spent most of the day ferklempt, trying not to cry. It felt like a sweet, sweet victory, like I had run a 42-year ultramarathon and finally crossed the finish line. We left the lawyer’s office with a lone key in an envelope and picked our son up from school. We drove to our new house and let him walk through the front door first. His exuberant “wow!” filled my heart with joy. He ran from room to room with eyes so big you would think he was in a toy store.
After opening every door and peering into every nook and cranny, Alex scooped Aiven up in his arms while I tried to explain to him we were going to mark this very special moment by hanging a mezuzah on our front door. He probably didn’t get it, but he does know a bracha when he hears one. He knew there was something special happening. And so, we hung the mezuzah together as I recited the blessing:
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu lik’bo’a m’zuzah
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix a mezuzah.
After a very long journey, I was finally home.