A Family Is Born
Some months before we were married, I accompanied my husband (then my fiancé) to get his suit taken in. The tailor fussed and fretted, measured and pinned, and then, as we were leaving, said "You two, you look like you belong to each other."
I thought about how the tailor had said "belong to each other," rather than "belong together." For though I was in love, I didn't feel that I belonged to my fiancé at all. After all, I already belonged to someone—or rather, something—else: my family. My mom and dad, sisters and brother; not this adorable but veritable stranger whom I planned to spend the rest of my life with.
Indeed, it was my younger sister who tipped the balance, psychologically speaking, in favor of the man who is now my husband. The first time she met him, she took me aside and said: "I like him. He fits in with us."
She was right. He did fit in with us, and that was just one reason why our wedding day was such a happy one. But as I stood under the huppah (the wedding canopy in Jewish ceremonies), I waited for something to click, for that moment when I would be changed, different, married. For that moment when indeed I would "belong" to my new husband, and he to me. I waited all through the reception, and then all through our honeymoon, and then all through our first, hot summer together in a cramped sublet in Washington, DC. I waited all through our first, less-than-blissful year of marriage. The year during which, incidentally, I got pregnant with our first child, an event that took us by surprise, to say the least. Birds and bees aside, I wasn't ready. Moreover, I was nauseated, anxious, and homesick. I didn't feel that I even had a home; I fought with my husband (who didn't seem to understand me anymore), I wanted my mother, and I comforted myself with narcissistic daydreams about potential "back up" husbands, just in case the one I had now turned out to be a lemon.