Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Girl Power

One of the first baby books I read by Penelope Leech, contained a sentence which at the time gave me much joy and relief. She stated that whether you are talking about a married couple or a single parent, as long as a child has one consistent and loving figure in their early life, they will grow up to achieve emotional health and loving bonds with others. For most children it is the mother who provides that stability, while a helpful father/husband can only help. (The opposite is also true, according to Dr. Phil, who stresses the importance of parents providing a unified front; children will manipulate and take advantage of any cracks in authority, ultimately resulting in a damaged upbringing.)

Today, Savta Shira came with me to the care taker, to pick Raphaela up after my short Chiropractic work day. As I, Savta Shira and Elana sat in the same room, I marveled at Raphaela's blessed life. She has a mother who will always love her and take care of her, an adopted grandmother who showers her with affection, and a care taker who gives her stability and structure where I sometimes fail to do so. Three amazing and committed women.

I of course hope that my father and extended family will add positive male role models, and I still do not rule out the idea of my being married some day to a husband and lover, and a father to my daughter. I wish for my daughter to have the same closeness and connection with my mother as I had with my grandmother, Rebbecca Keller, for whom Raphaela was named. At the moment, because there is the small matter of 6,000 miles, my parents have taken on the serious duty of grandparents and have begun to plan a party for Raphaela, when we go to the States to visit for Pessach. At last they have come to fully embrace their part in my daughter's life, and want to introduce her to their extended community.

I do, however, want to state for the record that I in no way believe the Jewish Old Wives Tale that warns that if you do not have a festive meal for a daughter, they will not find the appropriate match for marriage. Religion was meant for higher goals than that of gossip and scare tactics.

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