Over five years ago, my friend Maya and her family moved to Israel. Maya and I became close when we were both navigating the crazy life of prematurity – me with Madeline, and her with her twin daughters. Our girls were born just two days apart, and with all three of them more than two-and-a-half months early, we had much in common. I felt so lucky to have found someone who really understood what I was going through. And after Madeline died, she was there for me a million different ways, both literally and figuratively.
After her family left New York, we did our best to keep in touch. The ten hour time difference meant we were always struggling to find time when we were both awake, or when one of us wasn’t making dinner while the other was getting her kids ready for school. We tried different texting apps and internet chats and, of course, good old email. Whenever I heard from her, I was relieved. It was a scary time in Israel. I worried about her, a lot.
We thought it was crazy that we always seemed to pregnant at the same time. First Maddie and her twins, then we both miscarried within weeks of each other, and finally, we had our third babies only six weeks apart. Maya once described our oldest daughters as soul sisters, but I think that applies to us, too.
Just a few days before Maya’s family moved, Annabel and I flew to NYC to visit them. Annabel was such a little chunky four-month-old nugget:
I honestly thought that was going to be the last time I ever saw her, but this summer I received the best news ever – she and her family were moving back to New York. They arrived last month, and seeing them was the number one thing I wanted to do when we were in The City. When she and her girls walked into our hotel room, I grabbed Maya and hugged her tight. I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing her!
Maya’s girls understand English but don’t speak it well, so we weren’t sure how well they and Annabel would get along. We shouldn’t have worried – we’re not sure how, but they quickly figured out how to communicate, and soon were all laughing over Annabel’s inability to open an umbrella (she’s never needed to open one before!).
Of course, ice cream is a language that every child speaks.
We also went out to their house in Brooklyn, and while the adults chatted and I cooed over her gorgeous little two-year-old, the girls played “farm” in Maya’s backyard:
Before we left, we got a picture of the four of them together (I can’t wait to have James in the next group shot):
I’m so happy to have Maya’s family back in the States. It was so wonderful to look her in the eyes, hear her laugh, and hug her and her kids. I especially love that our girls got along so well, despite their communication barrier (Annabel is already asking when she can go back to their house). After having them over 7,500 miles away, 2,500 feels like they’re practically down the street.
Welcome home to our soul sisters!
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Such a neat story Heather. Maya is beautiful =) And you all together is beautiful as well. I loved how you described a friendship….looking into her eyes, hearing her laugh, a hug….awesome you have that with her.
Aw, how wonderful!
Great update! I used to follow Maya’s blog. She had the greatest outfits! Does she still blog?
Me too, but I’ve lost the link. I hope we find out if she still blogs!
She doesn’t! But I’m hoping that maybe some of the comments here will convince her to start up again!
I loved her blog too! Welcome back Maya!
Aubrie Soetaert says:
Yes, I read Maya’s blog too and have looked for it every once in a while. I’m glad they are back and that she had another baby!
So sweet! Having them back stateside would definitely be a treat.
I often think about the families we met during the month our son was in the NICU, but we never formed a relationship as close (and great!) as this. Still, I do wonder what became of them and hope for the best.
Sara Williams says:
I’m so glad she’s back! I followed her blog until it disappeared but I’d love it if she started again. She had a great ‘voice’!
Lisa Garcia says:
I am a HUGE fan of Maya and her family. I read her blog until she stopped blogging, I imagine it was either due to being in Israel and not wanting to draw attention to herself with things being so war torn and scary there. Or just wanting a break from it. Or because she was just too busy, with 3 kids now and working, etc. But I did find her on Instagram :). And “followed” her there. It is lovely to see you two together again now that she is in the US again. I really hope she starts up the blog again!!!
Yay for her being back! I loved her blog too and was sad when I couldn’t read it anymore. I remember reading about how close you and her were, so it’s awesome that she is back here. Hopefully you both can get together more now!
I’m so happy for you and Maya. There’s no language needed to show love! Kids adapt so quickly.
It was a little bittersweet to look at the pictures of her twins all the while thinking of Maddie.
Lauren B says:
What a sweet story!
also, I am in love with your dress. where may i find it?!
It’s by Market & Spruce – it was in my last Stitch Fix box!
I remember her; I used to read her blog when you talked about her moving and then the URL was hijacked / it expired not long after.
Glad she’s well, and has THREE kids now. Her kids are beautiful and every bit as I remember them.
I’ve missed Maya’s blog! Happy to hear she and her family are doing well. Glad you had a great time catching up!
I sure hope she starts blogging again! I was fascinated by her experience in Israel and how it differed so greatly to life in NYC. I often wondered how she was. (Still that beautiful toothless smile!) Welcome back Maya!
What a beautiful friendship! Welcome home, Maya! (Though I am sure there is some major adapting taking place!)
Given who their mamas are, doesn’t surprise me a bit that the girls got on so well…and love and friendship always creates its own language anyway! Looks like Miss Annie can expect further trips to The Big Apple!
I used to follow her blog as well. Maybe you could convince her to do a guest post so we can all catch up with her!
Yes, a guest post would be great! I also followed her blog!
Welcome back Maya! I too miss following you and your beautiful mishpacha…maybe we can convince you to nudge you into doing a guest post of places you recommend for kids in NYC??? Btw, I loved your suggestions Heather and the post came at a great time, we’re going in a few weeks. Can’t wait to show my kids the City.