There are many significant milestones in a person’s life. They celebrate a bar/bat mitzva; a wedding; birth of children; their first political post on Facebook (ok, maybe that is not so significant!), among other stages. This past week, my wife and I reached a new milestone: We became grandparents! So, please allow a new Sabba (grandfather) to share a few of his feelings upon reaching this milestone.
After a few false alarms, it was official, our daughter, Daniella was in labor. By 3:00am it became clear to my daughter and husband that it was time to go to leave their home and head to the hospital. I awoke all bleary-eyed at 4:00am, to read a text from my wife, Andy (who was with her and Benny, my son-in-law) that they were in the hospital. Needless to say, I was unable to sleep and began thinking. A number of months earlier, our daughter told us she was pregnant and due in June. JUNE? That was a million years away…ok, so it was only a few months away, but it felt like a loooooong way away. With each passing week, we had a tradition of the Fruit-of-the-Week comparison. Each week we compared the growth of the baby to a certain size of fruit. We anticipated the coming of the week that it would be a “watermelon.” That week came…and went with no baby. In eager anticipation, we waited daily for any news.
So, in the wee morning hours of June 16th, when I saw that she was in active labor, it finally and truly hit me: I was about to be a Sabba and Andy was going to be a Bubbie. It was exciting and exhilirating…a new stage in life.
And then, just like the last hour of Neila on Yom Kippur, the time passed s-l-o-w-l-y…It was crazy how 6:00am and 6:01am were 25 minutes apart from each other that morning! And then we got the call: “It’s a Girl!” and in an instant our lives changed.
I was very excited, and within a few minutes began to make my way to the hospital, to check on my own daughter and my new granddaughter. (That does sound so cool!)
I walked in and saw this little peanut, and I looked into her eyes for the very first time. Staring back at me, I saw the past, present and future all rolled into one. The past: My parents and grandparents, whose DNA she shared. The present: That this little 2.9kilo human was OUR family…MY family. And future: The continuity of my family into the next generation and beyond, G-d willing. It is an overwhelming feeling, and one of exceedingly strong joy.
“She” now has a name: Yakira Sarah Bracha. The Sarah Bracha part of the name was my mother-in-law, of blessed memory. Yakira is a name they loved (as do we!).
It is a whole new experience, but one that I am already loving. May Hashem watch over our children as they raise Kira. Mazal tov to my entire family and the entire family of our mechutanim, the Rabins. It is going to be a wonderful journey, and I am glad to have been able to share the first few steps with you.