The clock was ticking. Garrett only had seven days left with his penis intact. I begged him to “use it or lose it,” but he ignored my advice and wisdom. Instead, he continued to drool on himself and poop into a diaper. On the eighth day, (like a gunslinger in the Old West) the Mohel arrived on our doorstep looking for my baby’s schmeckel. He was carrying a satchel of tools, a few extra Tallit (religious robes), and a gleam in his eye. Someone was about to lose their foreskin!
For those of you who don’t know, Jewish law states that a circumcision is a ‘mitzva aseh” (“positive commandment” to perform an act) and is obligatory for Jewish-born males. It is performed at a “party” where family members and close friends gather to hear the child’s Hebrew name, watch a foreskin cutting, and then nosh on mini deli sandwiches. At this party, it is better to be a guest than the Guest of Honor!
Justin’s circumcision was the first one I had attended. It was done by Dr. Fred Kogen. He performed a wonderful, heartfelt ceremony and then he proceeded to remove by son’s foreskin with three or four quick moves. I remember thinking, if he’s this good at circumcision – I bet he’s got fantastic turkey-carving skills at Thanksgiving!
For Garrett’s circumcision, we asked Dr. Kogen to return to do the honors. Once again, he performed a touching ceremony! However, without going into too much detail about the actual procedure, I can tell you that Garrett’s reaction was far different than Justin’s. When Justin was clipped, he cried (even though he was completely numb.) When the time came for Garrett to get cut, we laid him on the table in front of the Mohel. Grandpa Bob held his upper body in place as I held down his right leg and my father held down his left leg. And then, there was silence…..
In the few seconds before the Mohel went to work, Garrett stared at all four of us defiantly. The look in his eyes said, “I know what you’re about to do. Go ahead and take it! I’ve got eight more inches to work with!!”
After it was all said and done (and in accordance with Jewish ritual), I took Garrett’s foreskin (and the umbilical cord that had just fallen off) and went outside to bury it. To this day, Justin and Garrett’s foreskins are buried next to each other under my lemon tree.
If my lemon tree ever decides to produce fruit and I’m able to make juice out of the lemons, I will bottle it like a fine wine and label it, ”Dos Prepucio Vineyards” aka (“Two Foreskin Vineyards”)