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~Thursday, July 21, 2016

Smile!

One of the first Christmases my sister-in-law attended, she scoffed at us.

"Christmas is so much different at my house."

"How?" My mother asked.

"It's joyous."

She probably had a point. My mother's grandparents were farmers during the Great Depression, and they would save every penny and buy more land. There was some story about how a Pizza Inn was built in town, and her grandmother never got to go because they were always saving for land. As a result, gifts given from my mother are always modest and practical in nature. My brother and I would take turns opening our towels and smile and say thank you. You don't really jump up and down like you would if you got the newest gaming system.

So maybe it's because my great-grandmother never got to go to Pizza Inn. Maybe it goes deeper with our German roots. Maybe it's as simple as the terrible divorce my mother went through when we were kids, but we are not a joyous family. I used to write about that a lot.

I remember when we signed the wedding venue. All I wanted was to have the wedding in one of those antebellum homes. Inject a little bit of me into what would be a Jewish ceremony. And we found the perfect house. It was painted white and had 2-story columns on the front porch, and the flooring was so old that it creaked when you walked in the house. The curtains were green velvet in the front parlor, just like Scarlet O'Hara's Tara. And the bar had been refinished in glorious mahogany wood. It was magnificent. It was perfect. And that's where I had my wedding.

My dad and mom and I sat around a 10-person table. My parents were writing checks for the deposit. "Smile!" my dad ordered.

I did. I think he wanted the reaction when you get a new gaming system on Christmas day. He was writing a large check; he wanted me to jump up and down and kiss his neck with appreciation. I must have given him the towel smile.

"That's Sarah," my father said to no one in particular. "Sarah isn't a happy person."

I was happy! I was also nervous!

My mother freely admits that we are a reserved people. She also thinks I had my thyroid disease for much longer than anyone had realized and that it kind of shaped my personality. Always moving at a tone softer than everyone else. There are a thousand more explanations I could come up with if I sat here long enough.

So when I peed on the stick and the pregnancy test turned positive, I shrugged.

That's Sarah, my father's words had echoed. She's not a happy person.

I smiled the towel smile.

15 comments:

  1. hell yes. mazel tov. (we say that right? i don't know, i'm from minnesota)

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  2. Congratulations to you! What an exciting next step in your life. :)

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  3. Hooray! Great news! Congratulations! I was happy to see your blog pop up in my Feedly since I miss reading your posts. I encourage you to blog about your pregnancy - would be fun to follow along.

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  4. Congrats! I had a feeling, not sure if it was from a post you commented on, or something I read from you. Hopefully you are not so far along where you are suffering in this ridiculous southern heat. Totally should have mentioned how terrible it is when I wrote about moving here. Probably would have taken a pass ;)

    Also, I'm the same way. Interestingly enough I touched on my expressions (or lack thereof) of happiness in therapy this last week. I do not express happiness or share things that make me happy with many people. I'm very reserved in that sense.

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  5. It is refreshing to read about your reaction. Finding out you're pregnant can be a scary moment, or at least one of mixed feelings. Women are always said to be over the moon but in my experience it's often not the case. Pregnancy is tough. Good luck and all the best for you and the little one.

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  6. Oh my days - Congratulations to you and Abe! I have been looking forward to this post ever since you got married so I am super happy for you both. From what I have read, you come across as a happy person - sure life has had its ups and downs but that is what it is. Also, people are constantly evolving, we are not always the people we once were (regardless of what echoes we hear!).
    Lots of love lovely lady! (#alliteration!)

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  7. Congratulations to you both! I'm so happy for you!

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  8. I like how you threw that lil announcement in at the end. SNEAKY.

    For the record, Sarah is a VERY happy person!

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  9. I'm so late to the game on this, but am finally catching up in blog land. Congrats! So excited for you!

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