It was a moment both soft and intense. Two unknowing eyes looked up—
a hundred glowing eyes looked back. The mohel prepared; two grandfathers stared.

“One of you hold the plastic nipple, the other his arms.”

“Whatever you want,” urged Grandpa Stuart.
“No, you decide.”
In a dialogue few heard, we each demurred, back and forth and back and forth— two strong men needing an act of God for decision.

It came.

The mohel leaned forward; the baby leaned right.

“He’s facing you, Stuart,” said the man with the scalpel. “Take the nipple…”

Max Parker Bogart had spoken.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The plane was idling but my mind couldn’t. Awaiting the flight home, thoughts raced, rather, from 2006 to now, and back. From the wedding to the baby. From their past to his future.

They married at dusk and it was elegant—bridesmaids in champagne. The bris was by morning, collegial— most women wore black.

My mom, 8 decades, enjoyed the wedding. (They wheeled her in). Max Bogart, 8 days, “enjoyed” the bris; they carried him.

The bride? ‘Couldn’t see her pre-nuptial—we stared as she entered. The baby: HAD to see him— at game time I winced.

It was cosmic…that chupah that night. Eyes welling… thoughts of Michael’s past, from dirty diapers on Wrenford to dusty slides on diamonds, from Cleveland to Columbus to New York.

It was magic…that simcha this week. Bigger tears: Of joy. Of gratitude. Of hope. Of prayer.

I thought again of our pasts, and looked again to his future.

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