Sunday, January 13, 2008

Catch my Breath

I was driving home from the grocery store and I began to reflect on the morning. It was quite a morning indeed, as it was the day that we had our son circumcised. This post is not, in any way, meant to open the door to the "to snip or not to snip" debate on circumcision. We are Jewish. It is Jewish law to have your son circumcised in a ritual circumcision ceremony. We are not overly religious, but we do celebrate Shabbat when we are both home together, we celebrate Passover by restricting leavened bread products, we fast on Yom Kippur and we had a Jewish wedding ceremony with a chuppah and ketubah. We have a mezuzah on our doorposts. We are Reform Jews. We felt that a Bris Milah (circumcision ceremony) was the right thing to do based on our faith. It was a little rough for me, I have to admit. The Mohel (the trained Jewish circumciser) was wonderful. He explained everything to us and offered us numerous options for pain relief for our son (which we TOOK for his sake). The actual circumcision was swift. The majority of the 30 minutes of the ceremony was spent saying blessings and singing. It really was quite touching. Our boy is doing well, albeit a bit grumpy (I would be too I think...) and lucky for us, he is still looking at us with the same adoration that he did yesterday.

I guess that the real reason I am posting about this is because in the car on the way home from the grocery store, the thought of what we had done, brought me to tears. The tears were not sad tears, or regretful tears. They weren't necessarily happy tears either- they seemed to be more of a tension release- a supreme realization, if you will, that this perfect little being in our lives is really here- really living- really ours to care for, and tend to, and love.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the whole pregnancy seemed a bit surreal to me a lot of the time. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that I was really growing a person inside of me. Then, when it came time to think about giving birth, I kind of found myself in a similar haze- a sort of "not in the forefront of my mind" feeling that, luckily for me, left me "uber-zen" and unafraid about the whole thing. Following the birth of our baby, I have been in what I would consider, a sleep-deprived walking coma for the last three weeks. Today's trip home from the grocery store shed a little ray of light on me. I caught a big glimpse of the grandiosity of what Mindi and I have decided to take on by creating, growing, birthing, and parenting a baby. I feel that this glimpse of HUGE REALITY was spurred on by the fact that we had just made a conscious choice to have a stranger come into our house, and perform a surgical procedure on another human being, whom only has US to speak for him. It was a decision that could potentially shape the way he views himself and others in the course of his lifetime. It felt very different to me than having the pediatrician give our little baby an immunization, or allowing the midwives to put ointment in our baby's eyes and a vitamin K shot following his birth. Those are things that everyone has done- they are customary and in some cases, required. The Bris, on the other hand, was more like a door-opening by us for our son into a life of Jewish custom and faith. What an amazing feeling. What an amazing experience.

Wow, let me catch my breath.


  1. Wow. A huge realization indeed. Those first glimpses out of the sleep-deprived-coma are so amazing... and terrifying.

    Congratulations again on your new parenthood, and mazel tov on Harris' entrance into the Jewish faith.

  2. Awesome post Lynn. Your boy is very lucky to be SO loved, and to have 2 very awesome mommas.

  3. I have the same surreal feeling. The first words out of my mouth after pushing the baby out were "She's real, she's real, she's real."

  4. It's a crazy feeling, isn't it?

    Every so often I get one of those, "Shit, I'm the mama!" moments, and it kicks me in the pants every time. Every time Punk's had to go to this specialist or that specialist, and they shake my hand and introduce themselves, I'm like, "Oh yeah, right. I'm the mama."

    And then I think about what a huge deal it is to have a child, and how I had no idea until Punk was actually here, and how before that I just sort of took for granted that parents are parents, and then, of course, I miss my dad.

    Aah well, such is life, yes?

    I love you.

  5. That story made me cry. I got the menopause real bad. You think so much about this little person in your life and what is best for him, that in itself, is what is best for him. Harris seems like a lucky boy with the two parents that were chosen for him.


  6. mazel tov on harris! thanks for sharing this incredible experience with us. i found your blog for the first time today and will continue reading to learn more about your journey. i too am jewish (and my parnter will convert this year) and we have a 2yr old daughter. before we new we were having a girl we struggled with this very topic. in the end, we certainly would have snipped but we still struggled with the idea.

    feel free to visit us at

    take care!!

  7. Thank you for this post. thank you thank you thank you.

  8. Oh, and commenters? Thank you, too.


You know I love to hear from you- thanks for leaving a comment!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin