Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bagels, Whitefish & Foreskin



My son is only ten weeks old and he’s already been surgically altered.  Since we live in LA, I can understand how one might be concerned that the kiddo got a nose job or had his ears pinned back, but I assure you the only thing he’s missing is his foreskin. 

I know there’s a whole anti-circumcision thing happening these days, but I wasn’t about to have my kid frightening his future sexual partners with a penis that looks like a mushroom.  Plus I thought it would be weird for him to have a weenie that looks different than his Father’s.  Oh, and circumcision isn’t exactly optional when you’re one of the Chosen People.

Just in case you happen to be one of the four non-Jewish people in Hollywood, here’s the Cliff’s Notes on the circumcision thing: according to Genesis, God appeared to Abraham and commanded him to circumcise himself, his son and all male offspring throughout the generations as a sign of their covenant with God.  So on the eighth day of a Jewish boy’s life, a Brit Milah, or circumcision, is performed. 

When my Husband and I discovered we were expecting a son, we began to discuss whether or not we wanted to have a Bris.  We’re not exactly the most observant of Jews (we celebrate Christmas), and the Hubby was worried that waiting until the eighth day of the kiddo’s life meant that he would be more traumatized than if we just had it done right after birth while we were in the hospital.  We really went back and forth on this, but after doing some research and discovering that it’s actually less traumatic if performed on the eighth day, and the fact that my Obstetrician didn’t want to circumcise the kid because he felt we should have the Bris, we finally decided to bite the bullet and do the whole shebang.

As I previously detailed here, having a baby is pretty damn traumatizing.  Being faced with having to host a large gathering of people who expect to be fed bagels and whitefish only eight days after pushing a human being out of my vagina was overwhelming.  Not only that, but trying to find a Mohel (the guy who does the actual slicing and dicing) who is affordable and available on the day in question is also complicated.  Thankfully, I’m blessed with a sister-in-law who is amazing, and she kindly offered her home and took care of ordering the nosh, so all we had to do was hire the Mohel, and show up with the sacrificial lamb.

And so, eight days after giving birth to my Muffin Man, I got myself showered, dressed, and made-up and handed my son over to a perfect stranger to have his peeper trimmed.  Thankfully, I still had some painkillers left from my labor and delivery, so I tossed back a few of those to take the edge off.  The actual circumcision part only lasted a minute, and my son was pretty drunk from the wine- soaked gauze we kept shoving in his little mouth, but I do remember there being blood and a screaming baby and my Mother-in-Law almost passing out.  Afterwards, I ate a lot of bagels and whitefish, because it’s so much easier to eat my feelings than to actually express them.  

I’m actually really glad that we ended up choosing to have a Bris for our son.  Despite it being disturbing to watch the actual removal of the foreskin part, the ceremony is beautiful and meaningful, and it felt like the right way to welcome our son into both the world and our families.  Plus I’ll sleep better at night knowing his future sexual partners won’t be freaked out. 

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