1000 families project ali gav emily joshua and isabella

1,000 Families Project: Ali, Gav, Emily, Joshua and Isabella

A mom of three on why she and her husband are making changes to bring them closer to their friends and their synagogue.

There are five members of our family.

I married my software pro-turned chef husband when I was still technically a teenager (five days shy of my twentieth birthday!) and in the almost seventeen years we have been married, we have added three funny, interesting, awesome children (and one panty-eating puppy) into our house in the Toronto nosebleeds.

So, yes, we are technically a family of five.

But family is such an interesting word, isn’t it?

We consider our three sets of parents (my kids have a Bubbie and Zaydie, a Grandma and Grandma, and a Savta and Saba), our six siblings (plus five spouses!) and fifteen nieces and nephews our family.

We consider our friends our family. We consider close co-workers our family. We consider the members of our synagogue our family.

It’s funny, though, that recently I found myself surrounded by so many family members, but still felt a little bit like I didn’t fit anywhere. I felt lonely, lost. I think when you are raising a family, and working a few jobs (I’m an editor and a photographer—and a mom, of course), the dreaded word busy lands in your vocabulary and it’s easy to push away the village.

But this year on Yom Kippur, on the holiest day in the Jewish religion, instead of focusing on how hungry and thirsty and tired we were, my husband and I decided that we were going to make some changes to our family. We were going to remember, and lean on, and connect with all of our family again, all of the extended members. We decided to put our house up for sale and move to a community to be closer to friends, closer to our synagogue. We decided to put our children back in Jewish Day School.

We need the community, we need the friends, we need the family.

Because family really is so much more than just the five of us. (And the panty-eating puppy, of course.)

This is #1000families post number 63. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.

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Ali Martell

About Ali Martell

Ali Martell is a writer, an editor, a photographer, a pop culture binge-watcher, and a getter-of-drinks. Not necessarily in this order. You can find her on her blog, Cheaper Than Therapy and on Facebook, where she writes about nothing, Seinfeld-style. View all posts by

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