The circumscision

24 Dec

So upcoming is the bris for our baby boy, a horribly barbaric, 3500-year-old mutilation ritual confirmation of Abraham’s covenant with God, followed by a celebratory meal. Our mohel is a family friend, weirdly, and this is one of those small world deals.

A colleague, who recently had a son, met the mohel while at shabbat services (to appease her mother). After services, a woman sidled up to my colleague and her partner, wanting to be extra welcoming to the new lesbians in the congregation. Turns out she was indeed a mohel, a medical doctor and lesbian to boot. All good things in our book. And so when we had our son, the colleague passed along the mohel’s contact info.

Meanwhile, my mother-in-law passed along the name of another mohel, who was working in the NYC area, and who is the daughter of a super-close neighbor in Western Mass. Turns out, of course, that there are not two lesbian mohel’s hailing from the Pioneer Valley, doing circumscisions in New York City. So she comes recommended two different ways. So yeah, we have a mohel.

The only issue we had was scheduling the bris, which (to give the short version), consisted of 46 emails, 17 phone calls, near-tears, recriminations, hurt feelings, dire family inabilities to attend, followed by abilities to attend. All of this being of course about what time to have the bris. Which at the end of the day turned on whether we would have it at 11am, or 1pm. Two hours! So the small number of hurt feelings were followed by seven times as many soothing apologies and conciliatory emails. And at the end, we just about split the difference on the times. At one point, I actually stepped in to suggest that everyone just ratchet down the madness. Ratchet down the madness! Chalk another one up to a week of sleep deprivation.

So yes, BB’s wee willie has, even before anyone has done anything to it, become a boundary object, containing in its tiny cells the embryo of lingering and fraught family drama that stretches back to our wedding. Let’s hope we can discard some of that with the foreskin itself.

Meanwhile, all we need now is a nice challah and a brighter light so that our doctor-lesbian-family-friend-mohel can see what’s what. Which is great, because there’s a place down the street from us where you can get a lovely challah pretty easily on the day after Christmas. And we ordered a nice lox platter.

Oh, and Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it. More Santa, less Krampus, I always say.

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