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Dear Reader: Let's Look Ahead

Our future is in great hands

Alayne Sulkin

Published on: November 29, 2018

baby toes

I promise you (with fingers crossed behind my back) that every publisher’s note moving forward will not be about my greatest gift of 2018: a new precious grandson Levi William Atkins. 
Levi’s had four fast miraculous weeks on planet Earth. We can’t seem to get enough of his sweet-smelling head and enchantingly soft skin. He mesmerizes us with his mysteriously perfect body and facial gyrations that only a newborn can make. Our gregarious and large family is constantly present with hearts and arms wide open to love this baby up. I wish that every baby who enters this world would be so blessed, from the big love surrounding Levi to his fabulous parents.
Stunning is the massive tectonic shift in roles, and how differently I view the world since 2:13 p.m. on October 21. My first baby daughter Ari is now a parent, and I’m “Bubbie”(Yiddish for “grandmother”). My mother before me gave a new definition to being a Bubbie, as Ari has already given to her role as a devoted mommy. 
Levi’s presence, be it angelic, kvetchy or needing four rapid-fire diaper changes, brings out the most magnificent Ari — notwithstanding sleep deprivation. Her historically anxious temperament appears to have vanished. She seems instantaneously transformed by Levi’s birth and solidly tapped into her zen, imperturbable and unconditionally loving self.
And just as my husband and I did our very best to impart the strong values of our families, we are already starting to see how Adam and Arielle will impart theirs to Levi. 
All our family values and customs will continue on with the next generation. The Jewish holidays and traditions that we’ve instilled in our daughter over the years will mean even more to her now that she’ll get to share them with her child. (And our grandson will probably also find them annoying as a teenager — like his mom! — and then embrace them as part of the fabric of their family as an adult. It is all part of life.)
And so I raise my glass to toast all of you as we enter the blessed and stressful holiday season. Like your parents before you, and theirs before them, you will strive and likely succeed at surpassing our skills as parents.
You can’t surpass our love, but do try!
You give us no greater gift than the joy we experience seeing you raise our blessed grandchildren, taking the best and leaving the worst behind, as you invent your own parenting pathway.

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