Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blessing Boy

Today Simon asked to bring some packing bubbles in the car with him to his afternoon program. It's a seven minute ride, ten if we hit all the lights. I can see him in the back seat through my special mom-is -driving-but-keeping-her-eyes-on-me mirror. He has has it folded like a tube and is waving it around mumbling something about Purim (the Jewish Holiday from 2 months ago). "Grogger, I got a grogger" he says. A grogger is the noise maker that is used during the reading of the Book of Esther when the antagonist's name (Haman) is read aloud. Each time we hear his name we 'boo' and yell and shake our groggers to dispel his evil presence. Mostly it was a great tool to make sure that we Hebrew school students were listening the entire time.

From the back seat out of now where I hear "Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam, Boray Pree Ha Grogger" which is essentially the beginning of almost every blessing thanking the Divine for the fruit of the....Grogger. Not wine, not the fruit of the tree or the earth but the Grogger. I can't help but laugh out loud which makes Simon of course say it again and shake his grogger/bubble wrap enthusiastically around.
This is not the first time that he has transposed the blessing beginning to whatever is on his mind/heart at the moment:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam, Boray Pree Ha...fork.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam, Boray Pree Ha ...ironman.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam, Boray Pree Ha ...dinosaur.

Of course I am always amused and often struck by how these words, of all the words he knows in Hebrew or English, come into his wonderful whirling Dervish of a brain.
Simon then went on to speak every blessing in Hebrew that he knows.  He said the Sabbath blessing over the candles, the wine and the challah. He said the blessing over meat products and then over other savory bread products. he said the Chanukah blessings for miracles and he said the Shehechianu blessing for getting to 'this time and this place'. It's like he was just spitting out every blessing that he knew only he wasn't spitting, he was saying them with emphatic intonation and then at the end of each one, a resounding Amen only it was more Aaaay Men.

So what is a Bracha? It's the Hebrew word for blessing. It's the formal practice of speaking these ancient words before eating, washing, welcoming, noting, etc. But what it's really asking us to do is give thanks. Give thanks for the opportunity to welcome the end of a weekly cycle, give thanks for apples and oranges that grow sweet on trees, give thanks for birthdays and holidays and time with family and friends.

And there was Simon just giving thanks all over the place; for his imagination, for grapes on the vine, for the sounds of Hebrew coming out of his mouth.
And then to top it all off, out of the blue, he asks to listen to a song that we haven't listened to in weeks if not months called B'tzelem Elohim. The lyrics of which are:
 
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
VERSE 1
We all got a life to live, we all got a gift to give.
Just open your heart and let it out.
We all got a peace to bring, we all got a song to sing.
Just open your heart and let it out. Yeah!

CHORUS
When I reach out to you and you to me,
We become b'tzelem Elohim.
When we share our hopes and our dreams,
Each one of us, b'tzelem Elohim.

VERSE 2
We all got a tale to tell, we all want to speak it well.
Just open your heart and let it out.
We all got a mountain to climb, we all got a truth to find.
Just open your heart and let it out. Yeah!

CHORUS
BRIDGE
I.
B'reishit bara Elohim.
II.
B'reishit bara Elohim, all our hopes, all our dreams.
B'reishit bara Elohim, each one of us, b'tzelem Elohim.
Yeah! Yeah!
Music & Text: Dan Nichols, Mason Cooper & Michael Moskowitz

And what does B'tzelem Elohim mean? In the image of God. The image of the Divine. The Goddess. Allah. The Creator. Whatever you call it...that thing that is so much more than just you or me. 

I don't know what made him ask for this particular song. Like I said, we haven't listened to it for a long time and it's not even one of his favorites.
When we open our hearts to each other, we become 'in the image of God'

I hope that we never have to open up his chest to get to his heart. I hope that his heart remains open. I hope that he never stops surprising me with blessings and reminders of how he is made B'tzelem Elohim.

It didn't change the fact that 15 minutes earlier he had a double time-out for throwing food and then hitting me. It didn't change the fact that I was still going to drop Simon off at school and then go meet with people who had infected wounds,  failing organs and astronomical hospital bills coming in the mail. It didn't change the fact that I still had to fill out an autism assessment form for him in between meeting with patients. All of that was still true.

But Simon took those 7-10 minutes and just let loose with a torrent of abundant gratitude and asked to listen to a song that talked about how we are all made in the image of God.
He's just about to turn 5, eats through a tube, and still can't poop on the potty but wow, that kid can preach/teach me a thing or two about....everything.

So we'll head into April with Cardiology and GI appointments, an overnight planned to Children's Hospital Orange County for an in-patient feeding therapy program assessment, starting up again with physical therapy, and a tour of special education kindergarten classrooms with the understanding that we can give thanks. We can give thanks for forks and groggers and Ironman. They're all included in the image of God. So is Simon Lev. So am I. So are you.

That's one funny looking image.

Love to all.

LF


Maxin' and Relaxin'

 Whispering words of Wisdom


A Boy and his Ma


Road Trippin' with Wyatt


Mama comes along for the ride


PopPop arrives for Passover




At the Seder


This Haggadah needs more pictures of dinosaurs







I do believe we're saying "Nitrtzah!!" here. Meaning "the end!!" of the Seder


Eating the Shank Bone


Do you like my spray tan? (Not really, just trying a new setting on the camera)


I love these three next shots. If only it weren't for the mist in Oakland (or the thumb print on the camera lens)



Like father like daughter.



Petting the bunny and making 'eyes' at the Junior Farmer


A cow says ....


Riding the 'rails


...um, yeah. That's my father.

 They put you to work at the Discovery Museum


Feasting


 Stingray




With Mamaw post sleep over!



Hangin' at the Zoo with my Cuz and her special 'friend'


I do like Laura's oldest High School Friend. John Ross Bowie is a cool dude!


This is how I roll at Trader Joe's


A little Purim Pirate


I could totally be a Knight of the Round Table


Or go on safari with PopPop. Whatever. I'm up for it.



 and that's how we do it at the F-J's.



5 comments:

Amanda Bristol said...

The photo of you and your father in the restaurant absolutely warms my heart. My grandparents threatened to disown my mom for being gay, so to see the incredible amount acceptance and love between you and your dad put a smile on my face today.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.

rbarenblat said...

Oh, I love this. Borei pri ha...Iron Man! <3

When I say the priestly blessing over my son on Friday nights, asking God to bless him with peace, he responds by saying he wants to bless me with a piece...of challah. And handing me a hunk of bread. (I wrote about that a while back: http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2013/01/in-which-drew-blesses-me-with-peace-after-a-fashion.html)

I love these moments when our kids open things up for us like that.

Stacie said...

Yay! I see you do know about the program! I was in such a hurry after reading your story I wanted to get the information to you guys! It is an awesome program! Hope things go well!

Anonymous said...

Your family inspires and amazes me. God bless you. What wonderful parents you are! Thank you for sharing your story.

Verona said...

This is cool!