All eight candles are lit. The oil has lasted all through the holiday.. albeit in the form of colorful candles. The mystery has been remembered, the story told, the blessings sung and the love flowed.
I admit it. I was ensorceled. The giggles and the smiles multiplied and flowed like the miraculous oil, her little hand grasping my bent finger as we toddled..... as long as Mommy was on the other side. It's quite the love affair those two have going on, and, as happy as the oil makers there, in those days, in that time, my heart swells with joy as I watch our little one attach herself like human velcro to my little one's leg.
I was in awe of the whole experience. My human had created a human, a human who can ask for more and crackers and milk and water and, believe it or not, for night-night when she's tired. It's even more delightful because she is as pleased with herself as we are with her.
She's shaking G'ma's honeymoon maraca, dancing and squealing at the top of her lungs. Food and fingers are all that she's mouthing these days, so we're not worried about the toxicity of a painted coconut shell, created in Mexico in 1950. Instead, we clap along with her prancing and plie-ing, laughing at ourselves laughing.
It's pure, unadulterated joy, a joy I'm sure that parents have experienced ever since Adam and Eve. It's why Mattithias waged wars against the Selucids; he had seven sons and seven sons worth of grandchildren and he was concerned about their future.
I look at FlapJilly, on the cusp of a world with a female POTUS (a girl can hope, no?), born into a world with an African-American at the helm. There are opportunities available to her that were only a pipe dream to me, and to Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose Notorious RBG onesie is on backorder for my granddaughter. As Little Cuter put it, FlapJilly has to know what's important.
And what's important is basically the same now as it was in the days of the Maccabees. Safety, security, freedom to live your life according to your own personal North Star, a life without war, a sense of purpose and the opportunity to pursue it. I wish for her that which I wished for my own children - happy, fulfilling lives, with love and comfort and support in abundance.
Hanukkah lights are different from birthday candles in that they don't come equipped with a wish. Still as she stood at my knee, watching the tapers blossom into flame, listening to the prayers and dancing with wild abandon next to her parents as we sang Ma'otzur, I closed my eyes and pretended that the wish was welcomed.
It's been a lovely holiday. I'm so glad that I had the chance to share it with some of my family and all of you.