Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seder 2011

Last year, before flying to the United States, I bought Raphaela a high chair, in anticipation of introducing solid foods at the age of six months.  You may recall that Raphaela stayed awake for 25 hours straight, from the time we left Jerusalem and until we arrived at my parents' door step in Boston.

This year, I permanently removed the tray from the high chair and converted the seat so that Raphaela can sit at the table with the adults.  She eats everything, except for olives and highly spicy foods, which she finds less appealing. She stayed awake for most of seder, participating as fully as a one and a half year old is able;  in her fancy dress, sitting on the floor playing Leggo with the older kids and chatting away, I realized that I have a daughter, a real little girl, a real person.

As much as it shook up our plans when the car died, I must admit that it was fun seder;  I felt a genuine warmth and welcome from our hosts, the proceedings were oriented toward the children at the table (as it should be), and it was wonderful to wake up in my own bed this morning.  Tonight, trying to stay awake as late as she did for seder, Raphaela passed out on the floor while playing.

One of my friend's sons heard Raphaela last night say a word that sounded like "Abba" (Dad), which prompted him to ask, "Does Raphaela have a father?"  Since it was in the middle of the Haggadah, I told him I would explain later, in private, and he said, "Oh, so she has a father but he is not involved in her life, right?"  That worked for me.

1 comment:

Amy Charles said...

1) Love the pic. What a beauty!

2) Prepare for more shocks re personhood. It's so amazing.

3) I suppose one might say that if others are going to pry, they've earned whatever misunderstanding they have. But I do think it'd be misleading to let people believe she's "got a father who's not involved in her life", because what most people understand that to mean, I think, is that you were involved with the father, he's no good, and he's abandoned her or you're protecting her from him. I think I'd just say, "No, that's not exactly the situation," and not say more unless you felt like it.