Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is coming up in a few days, so I decided to write a sort of personal blessing for you and our family for the coming year. You get ritual blessings every time we see our relatives in person and by proxy when I speak with my parents on the phone every Friday, but I thought I would write something a little more unique for you.
May your transition back to preschool go smoothly. You love learning and being at school. You are a very social child and, even more importantly, you have a fantastic sense of empathy for others. You comfort your friends when they are sad and you never hesitate to include other children in your activities. The scheduling will be a bit choppy during the next few weeks because of the holidays, but I’m sure you’ll get into the swing of things without too much trouble. (And there is no doubt your mom will enjoy having a couple of hours to herself again.)
May your discoveries never end. One of the benefits of being around you is that you force your mother and me to see things from a different perspective. Or, if nothing else, you remind us to look around and actually see things properly from time to time. We tend to become so consumed with all the different tasks that need to be completed that we miss the chance to admire the different colored leaves, the shapes in the clouds or the size of the moon. I hope you never stop being amazed by your environment.
May your talents and passions be plentiful like the seeds of a pomegranate. I took inspiration for this one from the seder1 that our family has for Rosh Hashanah. We eat a number of foods that have symbols for our hopes for the coming year. The pomegranate has hundreds of seeds and is said to symbolize the number of mitzvot (“commandments”) that we are hoping to fulfill. As a three-year-old, though, I care less about the number of mitzvot you follow and more about how you develop your personality and your interests. Keep playing tennis. Keep building castles and towers. Keep reading and spelling and writing. Keep finding new ways to stupefy your parents by the things you say. Keep finding ways to do the things you enjoy before life starts trying to get in the way.
May the world finally come to its senses. I don’t usually use this platform to get political and I’m not going to now, either. That being said, there are people in our world who seem to have trouble playing well with others and using their words. Every parent’s greatest fear is not being able to keep their children safe. Your mom and I are not exceptions to that rule and there are times that I wonder how well we will be able to do so as time goes on. We will do our best, but it would be nice if other people would give us a bit of a hand here and there.
May there always be ice cream. I mean this both literally and figuratively. Ice cream is a symbol of childhood, of happiness, and, on some level, of luxury. You don’t necessarily need it; it’s not the most nutritious or beneficial part of the meal. But when you have it, everything just seems to get better. (Also, don’t be stingy with the toppings.)
One of the things I’ve always admired about you is the way you adapt to every new situation. You find ways to enjoy every new environment and to play with every person you meet. The coming year is going to bring a lot of new experiences for you, as every year does, and I can’t wait to see how you leave your influence on your world as you go.
1. Seder is Hebrew for “order.” It usually refers to the Passover meal, as there is an order of steps that we follow during the meal. The difference is that the seder my family has at Rosh Hashanah is much shorter and has better food.↩