Today was my ten-month-old niece's naming.  Jewish families famously have a bris for their newborn boys, but girls have their own ceremony too, which is necessarily much more cheerful since no one is slicing into baby flesh and making the new mother watch.  The mohelet who performed the naming ceremony also performed my nephew's bris.  In addition to being a mohelet she is also a pediatrician and a grandmother, so she brings a unique perspective (to a bris, particularly).  

Most of the family stayed around after the ceremony for lunch, but I headed right out to get work done and clean/do laundry before we head to Miami on Monday.  The mohelet and I were waiting for the elevator in BIL and SIL's elevator foyer.  There's a big black and white framed fashion photo on the wall across from the elevator bay.  "Is that [your SIL]?" the mohelet asked me when she noticed the picture.  "Nope," I said, "That's Twiggy."  (BIL and SIL are into retro decor.)  

"Oh," she continued, "I should have known that!"  Then she paused and sighed.  "That was right at the beginning of the whole anorexia thing."


She shook her head.  "I see that a lot in my practice."  

"In pediatrics?  Really?"  Naïveté is me.

"Sure, well, teenagers.  Twelve-year-olds.  It's horrible."

I literally didn't know what to say.  For a moment I thought of mentioning an old friend from treatment who developed classic anorexia at twelve and had the left femur of a fifty-year-old by age twenty.  But it didn't seem a topic upon which to dwell when leaving a little baby girl's Simach Bat.

Fortunately, we moved on to, "Were you at the bris?"  "Yes, I'm [BIL]'s younger brother's wife."  "Ah."  "But I was raised Catholic, so this is all new to me."  "Well.  We can work on you."

That's a whole other kettle of carp.

1 comment:

  1. As someone who was circumcised by a woman I feel 'whole' as it was a woman who brought me into the world and it was a woman who inducted me into society by means of my circumcision - an old and continuing custom of the human race. For all this I am grateful. I really do deplore all the hatred around this subject. Adam


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