The preparations continue.
Two impossibly tiny stretchies arrived in the mail, one in blueberry, the other in cranberry. I draped them across my stomach and tried to imagine the shifting creature inside my skin fitting into them.
We went to our local ‘crunchy’ baby shop and my eyes misted over when my husband tied a baby carrier around his chest, the demonstration baby doll firmly nestled against him.
As we get ready, we face the question of the ceremony. How will we mark our baby’s arrival and welcome her into the world?
We’re going to do something at Romemu, our synagogue (how strange to lay claim to a synagogue!). The rabbi assured us we can develop any kind of ceremony we like, and so I’ve been brainstorming what I want to do (perhaps I’ll write a post about this later).
But, prompted by some of my friends, I’ve also been wondering, why, as an atheist, choose to mark our daughter’s birth in a shule at all?
There are some of the explanations I’ve been sorting through:
- It’s convenient. It’s a large place the any and all of our friends could come to.
- It’s easy to explain – “we’re having a welcoming ceremony at our synagogue” refers to enough common experiences that our Christian and atheist friends can understand what we mean by it.
- It offers instant atmosphere: It will happen in the middle of Friday Night services, where a group of people, many we don’t know and some we do, have already come together to open their hearts and try to connect with each other and what is good in the world.
- At Romemu in particular, our made up ceremony will be granted a certain gravitas that will make it more meaningful for us.
I don’t think I would do this (or of course, even belong to) at any shule other than Romemu, but it’s interesting for me to realize how my heart has shifted over time, and something previously unpalatable to me (celebrating the birth of my child, who we eagerly look forward to raising as a free spirit, in a location associated, however loosely, with Judaism), has become desirable.Printable Version