Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Have a Great Life"

This morning, Raphaela and I had our first (and last) post-op consultation with Dr. Jefferey Weinberger, our most excellent surgeon and most modest of men.  Dr. Weinberger gave my daughter a huge 'thumbs-up,' and closed our medical case.  As we walked to the door, Dr. Weinberger said, "Have a great life!"  One of the sweetest sentences I have ever heard, and I hope that both Raphaela and I never see the inside of a hospital again, unless of course it represents another chance for me to provide Raphaela with a younger brother or sister.

Because of the construction at Hadassah Hospital, we were seriously re-routed and spent time in many elevators and random connecting hallways.  Raphaela, G-d bless her, flirted with the Ultra-Orthodox man in our elevator, with the older gentleman who stood with us in the hallway, and a host of others.  I actually felt proud and relieved that at the age of almost two, she has not YET hard-wired the filters of bias that epitomize the human condition;  she granted warm smiles to all, regardless of age or gender or style of dress.  I myself know that I have certain prejudices that I try not to express, though in the long run it will become more difficult to shelter Raphaela from my shortcomings, and the reality of a fragmented Israeli society.

Recently I have wondered how I will pass onto Raphaela a love and appreciation of Judaism, its rich history and culture, and standards for moral behaviour, without all the crap that goes hand-in-hand with organized religion.

Today, the last day of Gan, they threw a wonderful party for the children and the parents.  I got emotional, despite the objective knowledge that in three weeks she will return to the same nursery with many of the same children.  Afterwards, a group of the parents went to the air conditioned (thank you!) Gymboree together, and I realized that Raphaela has made me an official, international member of the Moms' Club.  It felt wonderful.

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