Now, the kids say they want to move away. They point
As I'm writing this, though not as you're reading it, it's Rosh Hashanah. It isn't my holiday, of course, but it's an important one for my neighbors and community, and one I tend to mark for that reason. I talked about the newness of autumn last time, so having a moment to mark a beginning at this time of year is relevant, even if it's just a small nod to someone else's traditions. May we have a sweet year.
In the same series of holidays for my community members: Next Saturday is Yom Kippur, a day for seeking forgiveness. Like the moment of gentleness of Rosh Hashanah, the act of taking a day to ask forgiveness not only from something holy but also from the mundane around us feels particularly important this year. It's a day to learn from failure and seek ongoing ways to rectify harm. I think most of us could stand to take at least a day a year to dedicate to those things.
On a more personal note, I'm rapidly approaching the third trimester, and the whole baby thing is feeling Really Really Real. We've been trying mostly in vain to find a name that clicks just right for both of us. Oddly enough, early on we thought we'd had them decided, but the first names in particular have come in and out of favor as the months have passed.
Naming, it turns out, has been really, really difficult. Other than giving the kid a life in the first place, their name is more or less the most permanent thing we can give them. It's unpredictable, really, how it will turn out: what will be too popular or too strange; what will be a cultural fit and what won't; what their names will say to future friends, partners, employers. It's daunting. Naming something makes it into something it wasn't before, and it's a tremendous responsibility.
There are many things I feel that I'll need to ask forgiveness for from the next generation, and bringing a child into it makes that all the more important. My baby will be born into a messy, messy world, full of dangers we had many chances to avoid and failed. Even now, chance after chance to make reparations seem to fly right by us and we never quite seem to catch them. We have so, so much work to do to make the world worthy of its children. We have done you harm, babies, and it's on us to rebuild for you. It's on us to name our failures and do the work to make it better.
May we have a better year.
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