The 1st Time I Blessed My Oldest Daughter
17 years ago. My first Friday night as a mother. I gave birth on Monday, but I am still stuck in the hospital with an infection.
Josh and I sit down to Friday-night dinner in the hospital dining area, with 6-day-old Hadas at our side.
There is Shalom Alechem and Eshet Chayil and then Josh and I reach down to place our hands, ever-so-gently, on our new baby—as soft and delicate and lovely as a dandelion puff—and recite a blessing over her for the first time.
“May Hashem bless you
And keep you:
May Hashem make His face shine on you
And be gracious to you;
May Hashem turn His face toward you
And give you peace.”
Years and years of Friday-night blessings are joined, at Rabbanit Yemima’s urging, by years and years of daily blessings from Eema.
1st grade starts today!
And I reach down and place my hands on Hadas’ head and silently plead…
“May Hashem bless you…”
First day of youth group!
“And keep you…”
“May Hashem make His face shine on you…”
8th grade graduation!
“And be gracious to you…”
“May Hashem turn His face toward you”…..
17 years have passed since we gave Hadas her first blessing that first Shabbat.
It’s hard to believe. A year from now Hadas, IY”H, will graduate 12th grade. Which will be followed by National Service and many other wonderful things beyond, again, IY”H…
Early this morning Hadas set off for the beach with a friend, but before she stepped out the door I said, possibly for the millionth time, “Wait Hadasi, let me give you a bracha before you go…”
And even though she bent over a bit, I was struck that I still had to reach up to place my hands upon the golden head of this beautiful young woman. My Hadas.
The days are long, and the years are short. Ain’t it the truth?
And as she stood there waiting, I silently pleaded“…And give you peace” and then I gave her a kiss and waved goodbye.