Thursday, January 13, 2005

Staying little....

In the buildup to his Upsherin*, we borrowed a book about the process called 'Ephraim's First Haircut'. He seemed to be okay while we were reading it, but then, as I was putting him to bed I noticed that he had his younger brother's pacifier in his hand, and was trying to put it into his mouth. I took it away from him and reminded him that he was a big boy now and didn't need a pacifier anymore. He then started to get frantic, and began to look under his bed, to see if he could find a missing pacifier he might have dropped long ago while he still used one. I asked him why he needed it, and he said 'I want to stay little Daddy, I don't want to be big'.

Lately we have been prepping him for the upsherin, as well as telling him about the new school that he will be attending next fall. I wondered how much sinks in. I guess more than I thought.

I too have my fears about his upsherin. I wonder how I will feel, how he will feel, and how he will look after all is said and done. Will he be freaked out? Will his friends go through the intial shock of trying to re-recognize him with short hair? Will some of his cuteness and charm be taken away from him Samson style?

I also wonder about his fears, and their roots - is this just another manifestation of regression when he thinks his little brother gets more attention? Or is it true fear of the new 'big boy' unknown. He wakes up in middle of the night, saying that he is afraid - of what exactly he won't say. (Of course, 24 hours earlier, as I wwas dressing him after his bath, he was quick to point out that he was getting hair on his legs - even though he really isn't).

In either case, it just shows a level of congnition that just wasn't present in him 6 months ago.

And as he sat there in my arms as I consoled him about his fear of becoming big, I told him flat out - one day he will be a big man like Daddy. But even then, he will always be my little boy.

I am going to miss his mane, and his little brothers hair won't start getting long for another year.

* Upsherin is a Yiddish word meaning to share off, and is the term used to describe the ceremony at which a little boy is given his first haircut at 3 years old. Customarily, Jews from Hasidic and/or Middle Eastern backgrounds grow out the hair of their little sons until the age of three - a custom which is rooted in Jewish Mysticism and Kabalah. Known neo-kabalists like Madonna have observed this custom with their children.

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