It’s not his birthday, not yet.
But my mother is here and I want to share this with someone.
Besides, gan starts soon and I don’t want to have to worry about lice.
So we’re cutting his hair tomorrow.
Just a small little ceremony.
Get to the barber at 7:30 so we’re the first ones there and it can be sort of private…maybe take him for some breakfast…or ice cream…whatever…then continue the day like it’s any other day, cause really it is…and have a little family gathering for dinner with my brother and his family, my mother and a friend of mine…a barbecue because anyway we wanted to have one before the summer slips away…no big deal.
We’re not wrapping him in a tallit.
We’re not having him lick honey off aleph bet in a roomful of little boys who just want a bag of treats.
No big deal.
I once drew something for a friend of mine.
A friend I love more than I could love my siblings of flesh and blood.
Someone who shared a journey with me…
I gave him a gift.
It was a large drawing of a little boy.
He was wrapped in a prayer shawl.
He had big eyes.
And he was crying.
It was a tribute to my friend’s life.
He was wrapped in a prayer shawl. He was carried to a classroom. He sat on a teacher’s lap and licked honey off the letters…he gave out treats to eager little boys…and he was told to trust that room…that kind of teacher…and to always be a good little boy.
And when he was taken into a room like that and told to do something, he did it.
And when he told someone about it…when he tried desperately to get out from under the wrapped prayer shawl where he was slowly suffocating and losing everything he thought he knew…when he uncovered his eyes and let the fringes fall to the muddy ground…they said…go.
So he went.
And with him went a little boy, crying as they cut his hair…lock after lock…snip…snip…snip.
No big deal.