Today, Girl2 read her first word in Hebrew. This is particularly momentous since I have yet to be able to do that.
What was that word she read? Sh'ma.
And with that, she had me in tears.
You see, when our children were born, the first thing I said to each of them was reciting the first few lines of the Sh'ma.
The day after she was born, I had to whisper the prayer to Girl2 through the circular door in her incubator while she was completely covered with tubes and wires. She was too fragile and too unstable to hold. I was too sick to be allowed to leave my room until my children were more than 24 hours old. Technically, I shouldn't have even been allowed to go when I did, but I had a fabulous nurse who promised me I could see my children even if she had to wheel my whole bed there herself.
When dh was deployed, I would read to the girls at night (typically his job) and when we were done, we could recite the Mizpah and then we would say the Sh'ma together.
My heart skipped a beat when they were in kindergarten. In Sunday school, someone mentioned how their teacher had taught them the Sh'ma. Girl1 piped up and said, "Actually, our mother taught us."
Today, my daughter read her first word in Hebrew. That word is the very same one that I first whispered to her at a time when I didn't know if she could even hear me, if she would ever hear me. I didn't know if she would survive another day. She has survived. She has thrived. She can hear us. She can hear G-d.
Hear, oh Israel, the L-rd is our G-d. The L-rd is one.
Baruch atah, Adonai Elohenu, melech ha-olam, sheheyanu v'kiYemanu v'higiyanu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are you, Adnai our G-d, Ruler of the world, who has given us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.