My husband and I talk a lot about doing a will. A lot. Yes, we have not actually followed through and completed one. You would think since both of us lost a parent at a young age we would be hyper-aware of planning for the contingency of an untimely death. I mean, we are those nutty people who truly try to live every day to the fullest because we know firsthand that it could be our last. We have nightmares about these things. When I get on a plane, I am practically paralyzed by the “what-ifs” of what would happen if I don’t make it out alive. So why this ridiculous delay in writing down our last wishes?
It’s not for lack of pondering. Our hangup comes down to selecting our replacements. Who can afford more mouths to feed? Who would provide a stable and loving environment? Who would share and instill our values? Who would provide our children an education that we would have chosen ourselves? Who would raise them in a Jewish home where the level of observance lies somewhere between Reform and Orthodox? Who would tell stories about us so we are never forgotten? And most importantly, who would love them like one of their own?
I assume that most people designate a sibling or grandparents to become their children’s legal guardians. In our case, neither of those is an option. Our parents are not young enough for parenthood 2.0, I am an only child, and my husband’s brother’s parenting style is too different from our own.
We have extended family, and although we love them dearly, they all live far away and we don’t really know the intimate details of their lives. So, after many discussions, we have chosen one of my BFFs to be our fairy godmother. She actually doesn’t know this yet. My husband requested we postpone the final decision until after we spend Pesach with them. It will be an opportunity for Alex to meet her husband, observe how they’ve raised their kids, and see the home and community that, with all due respect to my BFF, our children will hopefully never have to live in.
So, besides the question of how to ask my friend for her permission/approval/blessing, I have to ask: Are we going about this the right way?