Saturday, August 9, 2008

Brit Milah

Today was the day I have been dreading for months (ever since we discovered he was a boy).

It was Alan's bris and although I had made peace with the idea of cirumcision, handing him over was incredibly hard. For me, there was no way I could do it in the hospital because this way it had intention and spirituality. It also had the backing of hundreds of years of men in my family. We used the Kiddush cup my great-grandfather used at his Bar Mitvah in 1898. My father gave Alan a new tallis (prayer shawl) that he hopes Alan will one day share with his own son.

Even still, it was hard. Really hard. I cried on the couch before the ceremony and sobbed throughout. He was fine. And the group of people we had there were all very close to us and people who understood the ceremony. But the fact is, it goes against every instinct I have as a mother (and quite frankly, holding it eight days postpartum--as is required by Jewish law--is just asking for trouble).

Right before the cut, I had the urge to take the baby and run out of the room. It was a visceral feeling I can't even explain, but to watch him squirm helplessly made me want to vomit even when I know rationally that he has cried more during a diaper change. He was fine. Even my stepmom who was adamantly against it at first said it was not that bad. I am less sure, although I know time will fade the trauma.

It is over now. In the end, it was an important memory and something we did for the right reasons. But it was very, very hard. I am sure I will never forget it.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

I'm dreading this too. I just know I'm going to react badly. I'm so glad it wasn't too awful for him.