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A Day in the life of a Zayde

04/24/2019 02:34:19 PM


Rabbi Shalom Lewis

There’s an old rabbinic maxim that teaches ‘…only when we act like a child do we truly know we are an adult.’ When we descend from our lofty perch of stuffy groaning, entering the world of toys, imagination and silliness, only then do the sages acknowledge have we discovered our maturity. There is wisdom in their insight, for those playful moments with children and grandchildren, when we abandon our caution and dignity, giggling and rolling about on the floor. Shedding our dotage is the occasional requirement for good parenting and grand-parenting.

While recently playing with Harlow she asked that I put a barrette in my hair. And so, dutifully I slid the purple ornament into my white hair as she watched and chuckled. We continued to play with her Barbies as we prepared for a scrumptious banquet of play dough. After a while, I had to leave and so I kissed her good bye. Said my farewells and left. I ran some errands. Visited some folks who were ill. Taught a class. Stopped by the office. And then, many hours later returned home. We had dinner. Relaxed. Caught up on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and then, climbed into bed.

As I placed my head on the pillow I had an itch and lo and behold, as I scratched it, discovered the purple barrette was still there. I laughed. I reviewed my day and with some embarrassment wondered what all those who I had seen earlier were thinking when they saw this grown man sporting a barrette. I can only hope they assumed I had a grandchild and not some bizarre hair fetish. As I reflect on this little episode I smile, knowing that I was being a good Zeyde, but I have also learned a lesson. When leaving the aineklach after a morning of play, look in the mirror before heading to appointments with grown- ups.

Mon, June 1 2020 9 Sivan 5780