Beth Cohen
Unabashed lesbian equalist and ardent Zionist

Grandparenting in the Corona Era, Part 2: I Got It

I got it. Tooting with Savta!

I got it.

I have learned this phrase from my 25-month-old grandson. I got it. This is one of the first sentences he said -and still says. How is it that a 2-year-old can have such certainty and presence? Yes, his parents are amazing. But still, how does he know that he’s got it? And yes, he knows. He knows also when he’s had enough -of just about anything, including Zooming with his Savtas who are just a little too hungry for his face, his voice, him. He knows to say ‘all done’ when he’s had enough to eat, when he wants to go to bed and when he has had enough of the puzzles, the trains, the toys, Zooming. (How???)

Before I continue, I have a confession, something you should know about me -I like to read the Zohar. No, I am not at all learned in Torah and Talmud, but the Zohar has always pulled me.

Zohar, the bright and brilliant mysterious book.

The word Zohar means shine, splendor, radiance, incandescent, lustrous. The Zohar, for those of you who don’t know, is s the foundation of Kabbalah, the basis of Jewish mystical thought. It contains commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah, scriptural interpretations, and for those who are interested and able, knowledge on mysticism and mystical psychology. The Zohar is true light, including ‘discussions’ of the nature of God, the origin and structure of the universe, the nature of souls, redemption, the relationship to Darkness and ‘true self’; the relationship to ‘The Light of God’.

When I see my grandson, Eitan, I see light. I see all that is contained in the Zohar, all of that wonder and spiritualism -I see that in front of me -I feel that light, the Zohar inside of me. The Hebrew name Eitan means strong, optimistic, enduring -mighty. Eitan also means spiritual strength, long-lived. Our little Eitan is mighty; our Eitan, at the age of 2+ years, has an inner strength, and please God, he will continue to be long-lived, not just in spirit, but in body.

During this new era, wrought with uncertainty and fear -I find in our Eitan, that same hope and light exemplified by his biblical namesake, Eitan the author of Psalm 89.

Of course, my own thoughts and ‘contemplation’ of my grandson may be the result of my own slightly disconnected and bored mental state -my own searching for meaning and my stubborn belief in the Higher Power, be it the God so many here pray (and swear) to. And for the record, my belief in Higher Power extends to Mother Earth, the Goddess as well as the God of Israel.

I see Eitan, that gift, of strength and resilience, in so many unexpected places -the grass that rejuvenates every year, the fragrant bulbs of winter, the wild and colorful flowers of spring -in the fruits and vegetables that sustain us, the warmth of the sun, the rush of the wind and the wet, coolness of rain and water, be it rushing in a stream, or pouring out of the faucet. And, I see and feel that gift in so many of the wonderful people around us.

Mighty, I got it

Years ago, when eldest son came to me, asking for my grandmother’s diamond earring to make an engagement ring – I was hit by an instant enormous flood, a mixture of joy, fear and excitement. He was so young -and getting married and way over there. -Yet, I had a feeling that this was right for him, the future he was so keen to build.

I believe that everything happens for a reason; there is a plan. For me, right now, selfish Savta that I am, I see the wonder of that plan in Eitan. Eitan came, as a star from the window of Zohar. When he came into this world, a hand with five fingers was opened and spread light, sparkling from the window onto the world.

I remain grateful for my son and my calla, my daughter-in-law. Their decisions, their lives and their bringing Eitan into this world. I am grateful for Eitan’s momma, who in addition to working full time from home, realizes both the patience and time to give us Savtas Zooms with Eitan several times a week, sustaining and brightening yet another day.

These days are not the easiest for anyone, anywhere. Sometimes we all feel lost and disconnected. Often, I feel lost inside myself, inside this space and time.

But then, again – so blessed! -Suddenly my phone pings. A Zoom invite had been sent.

We click in and there he is. Sometimes, as it happens, it is not the easiest time on their side of the world either. We are all feeling the loss and all are grieving the change. On this particular Zoom, my grandson has his own needs. He doesn’t take his eyes off the television -buses are singing; there is color and movement. I could see this reflected in his eyes. When his father suggests that he talk with Savtas, he lets out a yelp, ‘No.’

In this new era, the corona-era, Eitan’s school is closed and his parents are working from home. They are busy and doing their best to do everything  -and he is a two-year-old, missing something -that he cannot even name. Eitan’s ‘No’ for me is a testament to all that is perfect in his being. His Zohar. I am reassured and calm, Eitan is eitan.

I got it!
Here it is!
About the Author
Beth Cohen, born July 19th 1962 in Brooklyn, NY. Attended Syracuse University and made Aliyah upon graduation in Sept 1983. She became a member of Kibbutz Ketura, married and started the journey as a mother to two boys, now 33 and 36 years. Grandmother to a 6 year old and 2 and a half year old. Both are pure light, even when they are not. In 1997, Beth moved her family to Binyamina, where she lived until moving to Zichron with her wife. Throughout the years, Beth has had many jobs, including speech therapist, shiatsu therapist, kibbutz gardner and irrigation manager, medical sales rep, regional sales manager and client retention. Beth and her wife co-founded a medical writing business, and she continues to work as a medical marketing writer and editor. While these occupations have been a constant, Beth's passion and constant is writing, using the written platform as her mediium to share her experiences and life views. In 2017, Beth published her first novel, a futuristic women's dystopian novel, Her Destiny Is Change. The feedback was, and continues to be fantastic. Beth promoted the book with book readings here in Israel and in Amsterdam. In the early 2000's Beth started writing and publish her blog, LesbosOnTheCouch, which became popular both here in Israel and abroad, giving her almost celebrity status among English speaking lesbians in Israel. Currently, Beth, like much the rest of the population is praying for the safe return of the hostages and world peace. The hostages return needs to be real.
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