Jay played Norah Jones' Nightingale for Zoe when she came into the world fourteen years ago tomorrow. Yes, there was a playlist for every occasion with Jay.
Nightingale, sing us a song
Of a love that once belonged
Nightingale, tell me your tale
Was your journey far too long?
The lyrics are fitting. It has been a long journey for our girl and the love that once belonged between Jay and Zoe is best said in the speech he gave at her Bat Mitzvah in the fall. Although his love for Zoe can also be found in his waffling determination to get up and speak in front of everyone.
As comfortable as Jay was in conversation, he was so terrified of public speaking that until the last minute, he was uncertain if he would speak. Before the service began, he told the Rabbi he would give her a last minute hand signal before the parent speeches to let her know if he was going to do it. I am really not exaggerating when I say for years Jay had been nervous about this moment (and the word "nervous" is a big understatement).
It probably was not possible for many there to understand what a proud moment for our Rosenblum foursome this was as Jay and I both took turns speaking to Zoe. Jay did it for his Z and she was beaming with pride for her dad as of course, he was for her too. Here are a few of my favorite parts of what he said below.
When you were born you had the biggest brightest most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I thought there was no way you would be able to grow into them. And as I stand here I have to say that you have grown into those eyes.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. How big of a soul you have. I am so honored and lucky to have witnessed and continue to feel your soul grow on a daily basis.
At the time of this speech, we had no idea how much Zoe's soul would be challenged to grow in the months to come and how her bright eyes would become even bigger. Today as we still try to find the ground under us, it would be hard for her to sing a song or spin a tale about her love for Jay. I know when she says that her dad understood her better than I do, it's her way of expressing her deep love for her dad mixed in with other confusing feelings. I don't take it personally and I am up for the challenge to try my best on most days.
But I know her Daddy's soft, worn gray robe is too big on me and I can't keep the beat like he could and I don't have his stamina for endless hours of quizzing and she is the one who is teaching us about new music. I also know that I understand her in a different way and I trust that the love that once belonged between Zoe and Jay will find its own rhythm into her life.
Know that every waking moment of the day your proud dad has a heart filled with love and joy and unyielding admiration for the beautiful soul you have already become and for the beautiful joy you bring to the world, today and always.
Happy Birthday tomorrow to our girl, Zoe!
Nightingale by Norah Jones