Each time it happens it’s like the first. The wonder. The amazement. The joy tempered by the worries. Nine months ago life went on without you my new friend. Today, I, your great-grandmother, can not imagine a world without you.
I barely know you. Are you calm, and, of course, brilliant, like your big brother, himself not yet two? Will you have your ima’s beautiful big eyes and thick mane of black hair, not to mention her magnificent singing voice? Will you have your paternal savta’s perpetual smile? Will you become a beloved and brilliant doctor like your maternal sabba? Or will rabbinics be your calling like your abba and your paternal sabba? Will you be the consummate nurturer like your maternal savta, always giving her time to fulfill the needs of others?
And, will you be like the numerous aunts, uncles, cousins? Good and talented people, each of them, so eager to welcome you into their lives, to make room in their hearts for your precious soul and to be a constant source of teaching and fun?
No doubt you will be a magnificent mix of all of these people, your very own family, which welcomes you with infinite love.
For Sabba Rabba and me, you will be an inspiration. We will forget that we are ancient, and sit down on the floor with you to build a tower of blocks and then giggle with you when you knock it down. We will sing yet again “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Old McDonald.” We will worry about the obstacles that you gleefully discover, knowing that danger lurks everywhere. And we know that your parents will laugh, with us, wondering how we managed to breed normal children. We did!
Some things we know. You will be a shul kid. Yiddishkeit will be everywhere in your life. Your home is already filled with all the equipment from the mezuzot to the kiddush cups to the netilat yadaim unit that Sabba Rabba painstakingly designed and built. You will beautifully welcome the Shabbat each and every week with song, prayer and the week’s best food. Look out for this in two days. Your very first Shabbat!
And soon you will begin to learn your way around the pathways of Jerusalem. You will learn the names of streets and feel that you are home. In fact, Jerusalem should always feel like home to you. And so it shall be.
To our precious new great-grandson, Sabba Rabba and I wish you joy, happiness, and endless peace. We wish you a long life of Jewish commitment and learning. We know that you will be a caring and kind person. You are our newest blessing and we thank H for sending you to us, little guy. You are the fulfillment of our prayers and dreams.
Welcome to our world. I know that you will make it a better place!