I was lucky to see two special friends over the past 10 days: Audrey and Heidi. They’re my machatunim —a Yiddish word without an English equivalent that means the parents of my children’s spouses. More than a mere term, machatunim (pronounced maa cha TUH nim- the “ch” is a gutteral sound as in “J.S. BaCH”) connotes a relationship; together we share many events, especially regarding the grandchildren.
Audrey flew in from Atlanta for Uri’s upsherin- or hair cutting ceremony that happens when an orthodox boy turns 3. I’d seen her last July when she came to help my daughter in –law Karen after she gave birth to her second son. Her husband Oren arrived 8 days later for the bris.
Heidi, my other daughter in- law’s mother, drove from Detroit for another daughter’s college graduation and squeezed in a few extra days to visit both her mother and Jacob and his family. I’d seen Heidi briefly in January when she came to assist Adeena after the birth of her third child. I joined them for dinner, arriving in time to help manage the “witching hour” as I used to call 4-7pm, when the kids are wild and crazy.
When I’m with these women, we of course share how special and gorgeous we think our grandchildren are, and marvel at what they say and do. There’s considerable time spent examining the kids’ faces to see whom they look like. Generally I think they look like their side and they think they look like mine!