It was so nice to bump into her; I hadn't seen her in a while. She was the kind of friend and lived the kind of distance that you keep meaning to visit and you think about all the time, but then it just never happens.
She was all dressed up, and then I noticed that her kids were, too.
"So fancy, C! What's the occasion?"
"It's the day, today. The, you know. We came to say a bracha."
Tears sprang to my eyes. I wasn't there, but every mother has been there;why aren't they home yet? Maybe there was a--non,no,no, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation-- you tell yourself, but the images pass in front of your eyes unbidden--a car, driving up on the sidewalk, your husband, your children--screaming--
For most of us, they come in ten minutes later, and you say, "I was so worried! Where were you!"
And they say, "Oh, we bumped into what's-his-name,"
And five minutes later it is all forgotten.
For her, it really happened. She was home with her one-week old, resting. Her husband took the kids to a kiddush, giving her a little break.
The rest is every mother's nightmare. Except that, against all odds, they all lived.
"Today?" I repeated.
She nodded. "We made a seudah last night."
"Do I say mazal tov?"
She laughed, startled at the idea. "Yeah. Mazal tov!"
Her kids needed the bathroom, so I herded them across the street to my apartment building. "Hold hands! Princess, hold hands! Hold hands, everyone!" Eyes on the traffic, on the people, we crossed.
We made it across.
In my heart, I said a bracha.