Just a few weeks ago, Nate and I were in Rosenblum’s Bookstore, ordering kippot for his Bar Mitzvah-- those omnipresent black suede head coverings, imprinted with his name (in both Hebrew and English) and the date, to be given away at the service-- and on impulse, I asked him to pick out a yad (a pointer to use while reading from the Torah). He walked over to the case and carefully inspected the array displayed there, and then said “Mom, I want to be able to pass this down to my children.”
Here's a surprise-- my eyes instantly welled with tears. But my primary thought was "He's getting it." All the years of talking and teaching and trying to live what's important, and he was getting it: family and connection, from one generation to the next, stretching out to forever in every direction, what was and what will be. We are a part of it all, the center of it, the border of it, a link in a chain as fragile as memory, as strong as thought.