Archive for September, 2011

A New Meaning for Rosh HaShanah

September 20, 2011

When I found out I was pregnant and that my baby would be born in the fall, one of my first thoughts was how busy a time of year that is for Jews.  I wondered how we would we fit in a party around all the holidays.

My daughter, Cora Lena (Chai Sarah), was born on September 23rd, 2010.  Fortunately, the holidays are late this year.  Her first birthday is the week before Rosh HaShanah.  In 2015, her fifth birthday will fall on Yom Kippur.  I’m not exactly sure what that will mean yet, but I know we won’t be entirely focused on cake and presents.

Rosh HaShanah is the time when we look back on the year that has passed and look forward to the year ahead.  The first year of a baby’s life is truly remarkable.  Every few weeks there is a new milestone to mark – the first time she smiled intentionally, the first time she grabbed a hold of something on purpose, the first time she sat up, the first time she giggled, the first time she sat up on her own, the first time she flipped through the pages of a book by herself, the first time she ate a Cherrio, the first time she went on the swing at the playground, the first time she crawled, walked, and on and and on…  I had no idea how much pleasure I would get from watching my child explore the world around her and make connections between things.  5771 has been a truly blessed year for me.

5772 next year is sure to be filled with more amazing discoveries, as well as moments that test the limits of  my strength and patience.  As much as I have experienced profound joy this year, I have also felt pain, exhaustion, and frustration.  I have tried not to take it out on Cora, her siblings, father, or others around us, but I know that I have missed the mark on occasion.  I have cried out , in the words of Adam Mansbach, after a day of no napping “Please go the f* to sleep!”   I have been distracted from helping my step-children with their homework and hobbies.  I have been selfish at times; thinking that my own situation was so trying while a friend’s brother-in-law was, literally, dying.

From now on, Rosh HaShanah will always be a time to mark Cora’s growth, as well as my own.