Mishpoocha

Old Country Family

I spent a busy family weekend with my husband, daughter, son-in-law,  grandsons and my son-in-law’s parents. At my grandson’s 4th birthday celebration, we were joined by my son-in-law’s sister, her husband, niece and nephew. A lot of words to describe the relationships, but little clarity! Yiddish, on the other hand, is one of those languages that  has some great, phlegmmy, tongue-twisting words that attempt to explain these ties. My daughter’s in-laws are machetanim. Her mother-in law is my machatainisteh. Her father-in-law is my machuten. When our children get married, we tend to overlook or dismiss the key importance of relationships with the extended family. You think of building good feelings and  relations with your son-in-law or daughter-in-law, of course, but who gives much thought,  initially, to forging new relationships with their parents, sister and sister’s family?  But you come to realize that just as it “takes a village” to raise a child, it takes thoughtful, caring machetanim, committed to balance, fairness, and love to cultivate and enrich a nuclear family. When everything works right, the machetanim, brought together accidentally by their children’s decision to marry, become dear friends and cherished partners in supporting and mentoring the new young family. The whole family group of blood and non-blood relations become mishpoocha— family in the truest sense of the word.  Who knew the sixties could be mined for such a rich new vein of family?

Grandson and In-Laws

Advertisements


Categories: observations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: