Who is that Old Man at the Playground?
In my new neighborhood, I have noticed a widespread tradition– grandparent day.
Every Thursday, on the way to pick up Tsoofy at kindergarten, I pass by Savta Chula who picks up her granddaughter, Sara, and then heads off with her and her siblings to an afternoon of fun.
And every Sunday, if I go to the “Green Playground,” I see the midwife who takes care of her grandchildren until her daughter, a teacher, finishes work.
But I have noticed one grandfather for whom, it seems, every day is grandparent day. No matter what day I go to the playground, he is there. No matter what day there is a neighborhood performance for kids, he is there. With a boy around 8-years-old.
A few days ago on the light rail, I ran into a neighbor, and we were talking about this and that when she started telling me the following story…
“I know an older couple in the neighborhood who were never able to have children. They went through countless fertility treatments, until the wife reached the age of 57, at which point she said ‘Enough already. I’m never going to have a child! Why continue going through all this pain and heartbreak for nothing?’ And the broken wife went and poured out her feelings to the Rav. And he told her, “I know it’s very hard. But try, just one more time…”
And 9 months later, that woman became, quite possibly, the first woman in history for whom retirement and maternity leave began simultaneously.
Yesterday, at the neighborhood animal show, once again I saw the grandfather for whom every day is grandparent day. And I realized, this is no grandfather I am seeing.
This is the father for whom, like his ancestor Avraham Avinu, a dream of many years finally came true.