Today is Ben's bris, the ritual circumcision performed on the eighth day of a baby's life. It's happening at a local temple, where we'll be surrounded by family and friends. Ben will also formally be named (his full name is Benjamin). In case you're not familiar with a bris, the baby gets a little bit of sugary wine to keep him calm. It is not traditional for the mom to down a shot of Scotch to sedate herself, although the thought has crossed my mind.
While I can't say I'm exactly looking forward to it—brises that do not involve my own flesh and blood still make me cry—at the same time I appreciate that it's happening.
This is the bris we never had with Max.
Dave and I are experiencing a lot of never-hads with the arrival of Ben.
Last Monday was the birth we never had with Max. Tuesday was newborn day two we never had with Max. Newborn day three and day four and day five and day six and day seven were also days we never had with Max.
Friday, Dave and I had a first pediatrician visit with Ben that we never had with Max.
Last week, Dave hung an "It's a boy!" balloon in front of the house that we never did with Max; we came home without him as he stayed in the NICU.
These early days with Ben are the early days we never got to enjoy with Max. My maternity leave with Max was filled with trips to specialists, anxiety and tears.
But then, Max. Although we could not have envisioned it when Max was a baby, we couldn't have gotten a better kid. This boy is amazingly good-natured, cheerful, sweet, empathetic, funny, curious, bright and so much more. He wakes me up in the morning with a kiss. He's always asking if I'm happy. He regularly leaned over to my belly throughout the pregnancy to tell the baby "I love you!" As we were eating dinner last week, Max looked at me, said "Thank you!" and pointed to Ben. MELT.
Max may have his challenges because of the stroke and cerebral palsy. Yet one thing is for sure: He is a great kid in his own right, just as I expect Ben to be—and not the son I never had.