Wednesday, September 12, 2007

HandsomeBoy strikes to the heart - again!

How is it that HandsomeBoy can say things that just strike me right to the heart? Twice in the past 24 hours, HandsomeBoy has said things that made me absolutely stop in my tracks and catch my breath.

During dinner last night, we were talking about various friends of our family. HB asked about my friend Cingana. He wanted to know if she had any kids. When I told him that she didn't, he authoritatively said that she should get married to a big boy and have kids. I reminded him that she IS married (to Mr. Mike). Once he remembered that, he wanted to know WHY she didn't have kids YET!!! He was really outraged! He told me that she NEEDS to have kids -- NOW!

What he doesn't know is that Cingana is 43. She's been trying for three years to get pregnant. She found out in early May that they had finally succeeded, only to miscarry in June. My heart greived for her and her husband. After two miscarriages, I have an idea of how she felt. Luckily, however, her OB/GYN insisted that she have a complete physical workup before trying to get pregnant again. She did and was shocked when her doctor found that she has an AORTIC ANEURISM!!!! She was a walking time bomb and would have died if she hadn't miscarried (or if, post-miscarriage, her doctor hadn't been so agressive in her testing!)! Right now, she is scheduling the open heart surgery that will save her life.

I didn't know what to say to HandsomeBoy, other than to say that I think she'll be a great mother some day and that I, too, think that she should have kids.

Then, this morning, RockStar and I were talking about our Passports -- he's going to be out of the country for a few days later this year on a business trip. HB asked what a Passport is and we told him that it was a little book with your name and address and photograph that proves who you are and where you live and you use it when you go to visit a different country. We told him that most people only have one, but that he has TWO (meaning his American and Russian passports). I asked him if he knew why he had two and he said very simply, "Because I'm Jewish?".

Stab. An icy cold stab. Maybe this hit me so hard because I'm currently rereading "Night," Elie Wiesel's gutwrenching memoir about the Holocaust. Of course, HB hasn't experienced anti-semitism in his young life; in fact, he probably doesn't even know that anyone could hate someone for being Jewish. He doesn't know that there have been many times and places where Jews were not considered citizens of the countries they lived in, that they had separate passports and fewer rights, if any.

Right now, he knows only good things about being Jewish --
* he knows that we celebrate Shabbat every Friday night with candles, wine, a challah and a delicious family meal...
* he knows that tonight and tomorrow, we will dip fresh sweet apples into honey to celebrate the new year and that we will apologize sincerely to each other for the bad things we've done and then forgive each other for the bad things done to us....
* he knows that at Hanukkah, we will light candles and eat latkes and celebrate the miracle in our lives....
* he knows that at Passover, we will be thankful for the freedoms in our lives...
* he knows that we give tzedukkah to help others who are not as fortunate as we are...

And, somehow, he also has a sliver of vague knowledge that we are somehow a little... different... apart.... that there is or has been or will be or could be a less joyful, less positive, potentially negative aspect to our Jewishness.

I'm sure if I'd asked him why he'd guessed "because I'm Jewish" he wouldn't have been able to tell me why. I'm sure he doesn't actually fear a prejudice that he is unaware exists.

Still, it makes me sad to think that, in even a dark hazy corner of his young mind, there lurks a seed of vague information that will one day develop into an acute awareness of the true horrors of this world -- past, present, but hopefully not future.

1 comment:

Lillian said...

I love this blog :)