I am loving the almost-two-ness of W these days. His language skills are exploding, right before my eyes. He repeats everything we say, he's putting together short sentences of his own making, and he is expressing his own ideas in word form. We always knew what he meant by his facial expressions and the pointy little finger he'd jab at us or at something he wanted to touch or hold. But language! It's so amazing to witness.
We had a baby naming ceremony yesterday and it was absolutely lovely. Eliza got her Hebrew name and our family and friends were very pleased. I may have mentioned this before, but I'm a secular Episcopalian and my partner is a secular Jew, and it was more important to him than to me that we teach the kids about our traditions, so we did a Bris for my son and a Naming Ceremony for her. I am totally on board with this plan, but every now and then I feel like an outsider in my own family. I don't share my partners' or my kids' last names (again, I am totally on board--I've long hated my last name and his is melodic) and I'm not Jewish. I didn't think it would matter--and it really doesn't in the grand scheme of things--but at moments like the naming ceremony yesterday, I felt that outsiderness. I don't know Hebrew, I was only marginally a part of the ceremony, and I know that when the Cantor was singing out the long connection to the Jewish tradition that Eliza is now part of, he didn't really mean to include me. He did because he's a kind and generous man, but the tradition he was referring to does not include lapsed Episcopalians who are really agnostic and spiritual, not religious or connected to a cultural heritage by birth.
In a sense, I felt out of words, not the ones I was saying, but the ones that were being said about my daughter. I feel more comfortable with the words of W--his word salad includes me. Depends on me, in a sense, and connects me to him more than either of these ceremonies did.
I am very glad we did both ceremonies and I think I will be glad that the kids have this cultural, historical, and personal connection to their father and to Judaism. But I will need to find ways to become more connected, myself, either by last name or by becoming like a secular Jew myself. Not sure where my path will lead me.