Was when the Mikveh lady said to “let go” of our beloved Malka Palka Pooka Palka.
She was having a GRAND time before hand, and the new Mikveh on 74th street is BEAUTIFUL! It’s like a SPA! Narda and I answered questions, talked about our lives as Jews, and about raising Malka in a Jewish home. Rabbi Shoshana, Rabbi Ayelet Cohen and Cantor David Berger were her Beit Din.
We go in the room to get ready, I get in my suit, Narda makes Malka happy by having her be a naked baby. We go into the Mikveh room, I remove my bathrobe, walk down the stairs into the beautiful (and WARM) Mikveh with Malka, she thinks it’s bath time, so she starts splashing and smiling, albeit slightly confused that she’s moving her legs and feet a bit. We say the prayer, Narda reads a beautiful prayer given to her from Rabbi Shoshana, and then the Mikveh lady says to “Let go.”
I hesitate, for what seems like an hour. And then I do, and FWOOSH, like a cement block, Malka sinks, I reach in and grab her, and everyone says Mazal Tov! And begins singing Siman Tov v’ Mazal Tov, and Malka’s coughing, and shivering, and clinging to me like there’s NO other alternative to her existance. And my heart is racing.
And I’m thinking that we need to get this kid into swimming lessons. Quickly. Because unless it’s on purpose, I NEVER want to have that image in my minds eye again.
After a few minutes with the towel, she was back to her bubbly self, and even sat down on a chair in the “hair dryer room,” all full chested and proud, she KNEW that this special, beautiful day was about her. And it WAS beautiful, even if VERY scary for her Eemahot, for those 2.3 seconds…