A Brand New “Jewess with Attitude”
Amid all the grandboys with their Tonka trucks, their Thomas the Tanks, and their Transformers, a tiny but distinctly female presence dropped into our lives six days ago.
There lies our freshly minted grandgirl (Those eyes! Those toes! That tush!), cocooned in her ducky-print swaddle, cupid lips sucking the dreams of her last feeding.
This is a child who was born knowing how, within minutes of her first cry practicing her sucking skill on her mom with a calm determination.
In fact, loyal readers of this blog will be happy to hear this small person (you can e-mail after Sunday for her name) is already a “Jewess with Attitude.” Baby to Mother: “Look at me: I’m the length of your forearm. I’ve got no teeth, no hair to speak of and little in the way of body fat. I’ve got an entire body to build and you’re the one with the raw material needed to do the job. Day vs. night, it matters not. Now let’s get to work!”
For her parents this small miracle is their first taste of daughter.
For her brother she’s a tiny target of kisses sometimes as fierce as they are tender.
For us she’s the second granddaughter, daring enough to break a string of three boisterous boys.
For her cousin Ayelet, this new person is an ally. The first time they met, Ayelet sat down next to her and quietly took one miniature hand in her own five-year-old one. At long last, someone to understand me, Ayelet’s smile said (her two sibs and two cousins are all boys). Oh, the things we will share. And we’ve already begun––you’re wearing my old sunflower onesie.
Be patient, I whisper. As with my four little sisters, live long enough and the years between your births that now stretch like lifetimes will melt away to nothing.
And last but by no means least, to the Jewish world, this baby is the Future. Her parents will gift her with the love of all things Jewish that sing down through the years, from earthbound sources and from those souls now soaring free. And from our people’s Torah that spans those mirroring realms.
Continuity? Certainly, and fresh growth as well. My granddaughters will be guided by the courage and wisdom of Jewish women who preceded them. Growing up in the early 21st century, these Jewish women-in-training will be able to look for strength and inspiration not only to Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah but to the women in their own lives and to the American Jewish women whose stories are told here at jwa.org.