Audrey & Heidi: My Machatunim

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!

Audrey and two Lisas

Audrey (with Lisa, Karen’s sister)






This entry was posted in celebrations, Family, Friendship, Grandchildren, Judaism, parenting, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Audrey & Heidi: My Machatunim

  1. Drjcwash says:

    How lovely. It is fun to get together. It is a blessing you all like each other and share such wonderful moments.


  2. Love learning new Yiddish and Hebrew words, thanks Lisa. You’re lucky to like your machatunim!


  3. I love the word — and the photos are awesome.

    I so admire your sense of family, place and belonging. Beautiful!


  4. Lovely post. A friend was having trouble, some time ago, finding a designation for her childrens’ inlaws. I mentioned “machatunim”; noting that the Jewish culture has a word for this aspect of entended family because we have a relationship. I was particularly taken by the relationship at Nathan’s and karen’s wedding, when they each were escorted to the alter with either both fathers or both mothers; indicatting equality amongst the members of the family


  5. There should be a word in English for the parents’ of your children’s spouses! It seems you have formed, or are forming, strong ties with your DIL’s parents. There’s something rather beautiful about that Lisa. Enjoy your grandchildren!
    Diana xo


  6. OmaOrBubby says:

    It’s really a blessing to have close relationships with mechutonim. All three of ours have become close friends so I relate to your post! And yes, I really do think the grandkids look like the other side! :).


  7. They’re beautiful, and look like the best in both families!


  8. karen r-w says:

    What a beautiful post! So fun to have everyone in one place!


  9. susanissima says:

    Wonderful post, Lisa. How blessed you are to have such a close and supportive family!


  10. How wonderful to have this extended family of sister-mothers! Nice post, Lisa.


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