Sunday, April 11, 2010

Princess Raphaela

I wanted to use the forum of the blogosphere to thank my aunt and uncle for hosting a wonderful day that celebrated Raphaela and welcomed her into the family.

I did feel some guilt at having her Simchat Bat on Yom HaShoah, although in terms of the timing of the trip and our return to Israel, it could not be helped and was in fact unintentional. I look at it from the perspective of the appreciation of the State of Israel, whose existence is owed in part to the Shoah, and what better way to celebrate the triumph of the Jewish people over Hitler than to welcome a new young soul.

I took the train from Boston to New York with my aunt, and met my parents there, as they had several other family obligations along the way, before the party. Raphaela fared well on the train and true to form, napped very little and socialized with the other passengers and the train crew.

My aunt, a supremely talented hostess and cook, presented a full brunch spread, as well as a bevy of desserts, including personalized sugar cookies. I practically lived in my aunt and uncle's house in college, and I appreciate the effort and aesthetics she put into this event, especially given that it all had to be prepared in the limited time after Pessach.

I gave a short speech explaining the derivation of Raphaela's name, and cried less than I had expected. Raphaela smiled her way into my cousin's hearts, receiving all with grace and what I would call a sense of royalty.

The nicest aspect of the gathering was the presence of several generations, all of us grown now and with families of our own. The adults sat on the patio while the children found others their age, and it was the first time in several years that so many relatives relaxed together for a simcha. One of my close friends was also able to come with her husband and three daughters, which made it all the more emotional and meaningful to me.

Raphaela only really fell apart toward the end, after several disrupted naps, to the point of refusing food due to exhaustion. I have long given up on maintaining her highly regimented schedule on this trip, and as soon as we returned to my parents' house, even though it was several hours past her normal bed time, I gave her a bath to help her wind down, and tried to get her to nurse, if only to relieve the pressure of all that milk.

I am sure she will get back on track as soon as we have to leave the US and return to Israel.

1 comment:

koshergourmetmart said...

sorry we missed out-had some commitements could not break