Today's blessing is my granddaughter - whose first birthday is today.
She is sweet and adorable. She's cuddly and cute. She has started to walk and even say a few words - Mama, Abba, and Bamba - the Israeli peanut butter treat on which most Israeli children are raised.
Beyond the simple marvel of a child, and a granddaughter at that, is the miracle of turning a young man into a father. I watch Elie cuddle her, feed her, comfort her, change her. There is nothing he hesitates to do - he is protective, gentle - in short, Elie with another whole side to him.
He is teaching her to say thank you by handing her food and then telling her "thank you."
One of the most amazing blessings in life is the gift of a child. From the minute they are born, they hold in their hearts the ability to create you anew, as Michali has recreated Elie and as I'm sure my children recreated me; and they have the power to destroy you a billion times over.
They destroy you the first time they tell you they hate you; they destroy you just a little the first time they manage something completely on their own and you know they don't really need you quite so much. They destroy a little piece of you when they become taller and stronger and when they begin to think it is their job to take care of you; and they destroy you a lot when they are angry at you.
Grandchildren recreate you as grandparents, let you marvel at how they have recreated your children. It's only a bit over 3 years since I became a grandparent - first to Amira's son and now to Elie's daughter. Too soon to know if a grandchild can destroy you too. So far, it's been easy.
Each time you see them, the world becomes brighter with the simple movement of their arms spreading out to reach for you. Happy birthday, Michali - we love you SO much!