The Natural Birth Coach Bust
Prayer wasn’t a central fact of Joshua’s life throughout Hebrew School, after his Bar Mitzvah and especially not during college. Praying the porcelain God of puke control was never his style either, opting instead to pull the good old fashioned trigger finger instead, whenever the uncontrollable hiccups emerged like the time at Ithaca when he puked out a lung after polishing almost a handle of Bacardi rum with his old metal shredding loving bud JT seconds after listening to Jimi Hendrix blow the amps out to pieces as his paratrooper buddy from the army, drummer Buddy Miles sang with soul man bursting bravado, Them Changes, on the famed Band of Gypsies show from the famed Filmore East before Jimi choked away his dying of light, ironically enough.
When Joshua’s daughter Matilda was only 4, she stepped on her new pink Disney guitar, promoting her dad to say, “You never step on a guitar Matilda.” Matilda replies in a nonchalant yet bare bones, direct manner, “But Jimi played with his teeth.” When they used to live in Scarsdale Village, Joshua would push Matilda on the swing, which overlooked Metro North train tracks heading into the village, which always inspired her daddy, to start singing, Here My Train Coming from Jimi Hendrix, blues, his second favorite Jimi album after Band of Gypsies, singing, “Pretty soon, I’m going to buy this town and put it all in my shoes. It’s what I’m going, to do. It’s what I’m going to do.” Then, the funniest girl in the universe, without it even being close, says “How can you fit an entire town in your shoe?” We’d roll in Target in nearby Mount Kisco, NY and she’ take one look at the Target logo and ask, “Daddy do people shoot arrows at Target?” They used to make Vine videos together, when she could only string 2 words together. Daddy asks. “Matilda, do you have a nookie problem?” She’d take out her nookie and with pitch perfect timing say, “I’m a little obsessed.” Before she was born, after mommy was in labor for felt like five years, after mama’s attempt at a natural child burst turned out to be total debacle from the start, Joshua prayed to God that night, asking God, to make sure his wife survived child birth and to do everything in his power to make sure his knock knee putzy, white man’s disease plagued DNA skipped a generation God forbid. Now, Matilda is breaking high jump records in the 3rd grade at PQ in North Salem, NY and the best athlete in her class is crushing on her hard, whose grandfather turns out to be a hall of famer NHL star who played for the New Jersey Devils, never having to endure the brutal, taunting chants of 1940 heard at Rangers Devil Games in the early nineties before the mighty Messier, called out his shot and won game 7 at the Garden, before being serenaded down the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway as bigger Hockey God in the Big Apple than even the great one Wayne Gretsky would ever be. Joshua and his wife Anna should’ve had their doubts about the likelihood of her giving a natural childbirth after learning halfway into their natural birthing class, that the teacher never gave birth before, to nothing but more breathing mantra bullshit. Still, Joshua does recall an intensely real meditation exercise class in once, where he envisioned typing in his home office off Hermosa Beach, as heard the waves crash, as his yet unborn daughter hopped on his lap out of nowhere, in a state of pure, happiness spewing, snuggly, bonding bliss.
Hebrew prayers never did anything for Joshua in Temple growing up, because he could only read Hebrew back then but had zero idea what the translation was, without reading the English translation in his prayer book, which was instructive but at same time stripped the holiness packed oomph of the communal experience at large, even at reformed synagogue in Scarsdale, NY, where the command of Hebrew language was on par with the basic car mechanics 101 like not knowing how to change to a tire as Clint Eastwood whispers in your ear fumy disgust, “Worthless Jew.”
Now, Joshua was married to girl who was raised in a Catholic household by a mother born in Manchester, England, who since moving to Delaware with her family, attended a rundown yet quaint, Ukrainian Church in Delaware, who she made fish balls for out of cod and almond meal, which Joshua enjoyed plenty, whenever the price was right at Shoprite. What Joshua didn’t enjoy was his terse, borderline mute at the diner table future English father in law getting his panties in a bunch of over his future son in law in the making scoring big laughs from their guest, showcasing star powered charisma at it’s finest, only to hear, “He talks more than the other one.” Meaning, shut this fucking loud-mouth Jew up already, so I can back to hating resenting my wife’s never-ending ballooning ass in my head again. Why did my daughter have to dump her borderline catatonic, blond, Nordic fiancé from Indiana for this Howard Stern wannabe? Joshua also didn’t enjoy his mother in law forcing his kids to grace in their own fucking home back in NY because A) It wasn’t her home B) She knew Joshua was raised Jewish C) Her opportunity to instill a religious education for her own children had passed D) It wasn’t very Jesus like when she chucked a butcher knife at her husband, when they lived in Australia because, she couldn’t handle being a stay at home mom, fondling avocado’s the size of Babar’s nut sack D) Her grace prayers not once included any shout outs in his own parents honor and E) The grace prayers were very general and bland, lacking all personal, zesty pop on par with every other birthday card she ever wrote for her grandchildren, with the salutation God Bless, nothing more nothing less. God bless, yes Joshua being a father of 3 who achieved his dream of writing for TV in Manhattan on Vh1 Classic’s America’s Hard 100 made this do it all dad feel more blessed than the rest, but not in the mother in law department, especially after learning from his kids about the time they were forced Eucharist behind his back once, which isn’t even Kosher in Bill Maher’s book. The Christian kid prayer books and Fisher Price Little People Christmas Toy action figures didn’t warm Joshua up to his mother- in-law’s, domineering, Jehovah Witness type pushy ways either. One year for Christmas, Joshua’s mother-in-law went out of her way to get her granddaughter, a giant plastic toy chest with no toys in it. Joshua immediately empathized with his daughter’s awkward, perplexment, assuring her, “Don’t worry Matilda. When we get back home to Jew York. Will up the toy chest with your 8000 Chanukah gifts. Joshua’s daughter also scored some white socks from the bargain bin at Target that year, which screams grandma’s heart wasn’t into again.