Soren Micah Gaskill.
He is named after my mother Susan and Aviva's grandmother Sarah, and after my grandfather Milton and Aviva's dear family friend Mendel. Each of them was an incredible person in their own way, and each possessed numerous gifts and qualities we hope that Soren will have. In addition, each one contributed actively to the wonderful life Aviva and I have, and we remember them all, fondly and often.
So the Brit Milah, or Bris, was last week and it was great. We are so grateful to everyone who made it up to Scarsdale on a weekday afternoon for the wonderful ceremony, it was truly a magical day. From the moment Laurie and Vasili (the kvatter and kvatterin) carried him out into the Sanctuary until we bundled him up into the car, the air was a little sharper and crisper and everything just felt great.
And a little scary. While I was standing up there with the Rabbi, watching the Mohel, Paysach Krohn, - who was amazing and, it turns out, literally wrote the book on moheling - perform out of hospital surgery on my 8 day old son, it occurred to me that if I weren't Jewish, I would have some serious questions about what we were doing there. I mentioned this to the Rabbi, and he said, "Yeah, I have had thoughts about that as well."
But Soren was a champ, only cried when we initially took his pants off because he was cold, and once he warmed up and started eating he was fine - and now, several days later, he is healing very well and his penis is doing just fine.
Anyway, after the circumcision, Aviva disappeared with the baby for about a hour, along with her mom, sister and sister-in-law, for a Buchman X chromosome party while the rest of us ate, drank and hung out. Altogether it was a really wonderful afternoon, and we were totally blown away by the love and support we felt from everyone who came, as well as the many people who could not make but sent us their love.
Below are a bunch of pix from the Bris; clearly I did not take most of these so the excellent photos are courtesy of Heather and Laurie.
Before the Bris at home
Practicing the Kvatter/Kvatterin Walk
Setting Up at the Synagogue
Last minute pre-game discussion with Rabbi Krohn
Bringing in Baby G
His Name is Soren Micah Gaskill
And here we go - no close ups here, for obvious reasons
So far, so good, but not everyone is so sanguine about it
Aviva came over to comfort him towards the end of the ceremony
So proud of our little guy
And now, because we are Jews having a celebration, we eat - mostly bagels and lox
... and some cake ....
... and drink Scotch
.... and generally enjoy ourselves
Larry and Amy were actually too cool for the Bris, but they decided to bring us up by letting us bask in their presence ...