• Sandy Green


I’ve been fortunate enough to live in two of the most exciting cities in the world - New York City and Jerusalem. I loved both places and feel blessed to have called them both ‘home’, but time can be funny sometimes. When you spend every day somewhere, even the most exciting place can feel mundane. It’s embarrassing to admit that I was ever bored in New York - it’s the city that never sleeps! And that’s one of the reasons I loved hosting visitors. There’s something magical about being with someone as they experience something you love for the first time. In a way, you get to experience it new all over again. And I really do feel that every time we’re given a chance to appreciate something we take for granted, it’s a gift.

Having a baby takes this to the next level. It blows my mind every time I think about how NEW Avi is. A brand new human being and everything is a first-time experience for him. Forget New York City, Avi has hands! And they can grab things! And what’s this fun thing to put in my mouth? It’s a foot! I can control that too! Every day, Avi experiences something new that to us is common-place. From solid foods, to crawling, to music; the world is literally opening up to him before my eyes and it’s truly miraculous to see. We laugh and coo over how adorable all of these developments are, but sometimes I like to stop and think about how this world looks from his perspective. Big and exciting and constantly changing. Every morning, Avi wakes up and his world-view has changed. Can you imagine living like that? It’s no wonder babies go through a clingy stage - there are so few constants for them at this point in their life.

This weekend, we took Avi to the Jersey Shore. I’ve been trying to get him outside in the fresh air now that the weather is changing and this was a perfect opportunity for a little day trip with friends. I marveled at how Avi processed this strange new world around him. His confusion by the feeling of wind around his head, the frustration of the sun in his eyes, his curiously (turned quickly to fear) of the big waves, and the absolute joy of the sand between his fingers and toes. His excitement was not just visible but palpable as he explored this weird ground that he could pick up, but not hold onto.

As I’ve written about before, memory is a strange thing. We can’t remember the first time we ate real food or took our first steps. I don’t remember the first time I visited the beach. But through Avi’s eyes - those pure, innocent, beautiful eyes - I can appreciate the world around me anew, and it really is a gift.