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May 31

Julianna’s naming ceremony

We had Julie’s official naming ceremony on Saturday. If she was a boy, we’d have had her bris (hands down, worst day of Sammy’s infancy for me) on the eighth day after she was born, but for a girl, it’s a little more relaxed on the timing. Marc had gone to the synagogue on the Shabbat after she was born for her first naming, but this one was the big one, with all the family and production and hoopla that goes along with it. She was an angel girl, as per usual, slept thru the whole thing so peacefully. She’s such a good baby.

Her Hebrew name is Il’yanna Rut Cohen. Il’yanna means “God has answered” and the rabbi made a special point of talking about the name that we chose for her and how incredibly wonderful it was to use it as her name, because she is such an incredible answer to our prayers for a child. It was a beautiful ceremony and very meaningful. At least that part of it was – as a convert to Judaism, the Hebrew portion of the service (and since we attend a Conservative temple, the Hebrew is a a big part of it) was mostly lost on me. And Sam is just wretched at services, he’s nowhere near old enough to sit thru a service. Temperment wise, it’s just not a good fit for him. At his age, Jess loved going to services, and would sit patiently on her daddy’s lap, listening and absorbing everything. Sam spent most of the time clinging to my leg and begging to go home. Which really isn’t an optimal situation for me to enjoy the spiritual meaning of the ceremony, mostly I was just embarassed.

Then we went down to my hometown, Maynard, and went to the cemetery. My grandmother and cousin are buried in Maynard, and I wanted to bring the kids down to see it. Sam, unfortunately, slept thru it, as did Julie (although in her case, it was nice that she slept thru it because I was able to really focus on Jessica). We talked about the stones, and the poety my grandfather had engraved on my grandmother’s stone, and made plans to come back and plant flowers.

After that, we crashed a cookout at our friend Tricia’s house. She hadn’t seen the kids in a long time, and had never seen Julie, and it was the nicest afternoon. The kids all played, we got to talk and chat, Julie played Pass the Baby, and was an angel girl throughout the whole thing. It’s a situation where the fact that she’s a nursing girl works out great, because I never go for very long without holding her because she nurses every hour or so 🙂

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