The Tovsky Tribe

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Sunday, February 1, 2009


If you are Jewish and have a boy then on the eighth day of his life he has his Bris. Turner was no exception, though his brothers were. Chase and Ryder were nearly three weeks old when we had their Bris. This was not us breaking tradition, but because they were in the NICU the Bris was 8 days after their release. We had Chase and Ryder's Bris at home, we had Turner's at my parents clubhouse. We used the same mohel, Cantor Mark Kushner.

Still recovering from a C-section, and for those who did not know otherwise, still looking pregnant, I put make up on my face and put on clothes other than pajamas and entertained. A meat tray, a "Happy Bris Day" cake, quite a few bottles of wine, and three dozen blue and brown balloons later, a "Welcome to the World let's circumcise your penis party" was had. The Bris was really a wonderful day. We were joined by friends and family who surrounded us, and our newborn son, with warmth and kindness, which is exactly the type of welcome we would wish for anyone's child.
Turner handled the actual snipping really well, with only a minor cry out. The wine soaked cotton swab lollipop was likely helpful. Afterwards, his healing went without a glitch. I am truly amazed how different even an infant's penis looks before and after a circumcision. But, out of respect for my sons' penis I won't go into that.

The godparents do the hand off

Once the actual Bris was done, the Rabbi from my Bat Mitzvah, my wedding, and the synagogue where Chase and Ryder go to pre-school gave Turner his hebrew name. Rabbi Perlstein has known my family for so many years he actually knew the people we named Turner for, giving the naming ceremony a personal touch. Turner Luke's hebrew name is Natan Leibel. Natan is for my maternal grandmother Nettie (Nessa.). Sadly, she passed away when I was just seven years old. Although I still have many memories of her, her house, times we spent together, I am not always sure what is real, and what is conjured up from the stories I have been told. At seven, when she passed, I said I would name my first son for her (in english- Noah Brett) and I also wanted to open a restaurant called Nettie B's. I was a dreamer as a child. 26 years later, it is my third son who honors her name, though in hebrew only, and a restaurant, despite my love to cook, is out of the question. Still, Natan is a special name after a special lady. Since the day she passed, I think of her often and miss her always. Natan means gift, and without question Turner is a gift to all who love him.
His middle name, Leibel, is also very special. Named for my Great Aunt Lil who became like a grandmother as we grew up. I am fortunate because I knew her well into my adult years and can remember her with details, unlike my seven year old memory. Aunt Lil was filled with a life and a spunk, well into her 80's, that most people do not have in their youth. Her death, which came suddenly and quickly, crushed us all. At the time Chase and Ryder were just three months old. I was not sure how I would ever describe to my then infant sons the woman they would never remember, but were lucky enough to meet. Still unsure of how to do this, perhaps naming their brother in her honor will help them to understand.
Leibel means Lion, a strong, courageous, beautiful animal- traits that are nice to possess. In addition, Todd's maternal grandmother is our children's only living great grandparent. Her last name is Lyon's so the name ties Turner to her as well.

Most parents expecting boys dread the Bris. The actual "surgery" causes mom's much anxiety. Having been through it twice before I knew it was not so bad, but the ceremony was just a small part in an otherwise great day!

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