MAY 16-18, 2003

Josie & Rita

Carol stayed in New York Thursday night for the graduation dinner at JTS, and I took the train in on Friday morning at an ungodly hour--6:59 AM. The price was right, however, $25 with the Veterans Advantage Card, and it makes just a few stops. It even came in early. I met Carol at the Jewish Museum, where Andy took us on a personally guided tour of the revamped permanent exhibition. It's very inviting and open, built around four basic themes of Judaism: the Exodus, the Covenant, the Law, and the Land. In the section on twentieth century Judaism, Andy has an entire wall with several TV monitors, each playing a loop of videotape having to do with verses from Ecclesiastes: A time to be born and a time to die, A time to rejoice and a time to mourn, etc. It shows scenes and rituals ranging from a Moroccan wedding to Ben Gurion proclaiming the State of Israel, to a minyan of women in t'filin. It's a very powerful wall that draws you in. On the wall is printed, "Created by Andrew Ingall," bringing much naches to his parents. Just as thrilling is the way Andy introduces us to the staff at all levels, including the package inspectors and guards. Everyone there holds him in high affection and regard. Afterward, we went out to lunch at a neighborhood Italian restaurant, nothing to write home about.

We cabbed from there to the East Village to see Josie and her parents. Rita was there with her. Rita and Josie adore each other.

Josie is now constant motion and talk. She loves telling stories of adventures she's been through and you must serve as prompter and interpreter. As soon as the story is over, she says, "Again," and goes through  it another time. Here is an example:
Josie: [We went to the ] park!
You: On
Josie: Avenue A
You: And we saw a
Josie: fire!!!! (jumping up and down)
You: And who came?
Josie: Firemen!
You: In trucks that were
Josie: red!
You: And they had
Josie: hoses.
You: And the hoses shot
Josie: water!!! (holding her hands in fists at her crotch)
You: And the fire went
Josie: out!!....Again!

You can see her building a superego. She'll start whining about wanting something or not wanting something, and then will abruptly say to herself, "No whining!" and she'll stop. She also loves to sit on the potty seat beside you when you are on the throne, and likes to watch the doody go down when flushed. At once her little head is purring with excitement thinkng up the next thing she can show you or tell you that will entertain and please you, while at the same time she can carry on a real conversation for five full minutes.

Jonathan worked in the garden, and Josie delighted in showing us the various flowers and herbs by name. She works so hard at just smelling and touching them, without picking them.

Feeding time is always fun, made even more so by a quart of cosmopolitans that Zayde shook up for the group.

Got yoghurt?.. Feeding Zayde

After Josie went to sleep, we ate a wonderful dinner of barbecued steak by Jonathan and delicious cauliflower with pine nuts and salad by Marjorie. Then we went up to the hovel to sleep.

On To Saturday