My Brent Cross Walk of Naches
I used to consider myself a veteran and accomplished schapper of naches. After all I have two exquisite daughters - one a lawyer, one a teacher - and have been suffused hourly in essence of nachus for the past 28 years. Kvelling is, literally, my middle name - Vanessa Jane Rochel Mindel Kvelling Feltz.
I have wallowed in oodles of yiches at two bat itzvahs, a welter of prize-givings, graduations, strolls in Kenwood, snacks at Reubens and even, frequently, on the sofa in my own living room.
Let me clarify for any naches novices among you. It is technically possible to schep - not to be confused, of course, with "schlep" - naches from non-family members.
One might, for example, derive dollops of vicarious naches from the achievements of one's favourite football team, or even from the stick-retrieving skills of one's dog.
Naches in its distilled and purest form, however, emanates solely from the antics and activities of the flesh of one's flesh. Other people's children may inspire a smile or pat on the head. Only our own progeny generate a surge of jubilation mingled with a volcanic explosion in the heart, mixed with pride, gratitude and a crescendo of love so cataclysmic that breathing is barely possible, that constitutes the quintessence of naches.
So I thought I had this naches thing down pat until a lunchtime visit a few weeks ago to Fenwick's in Brent Cross.
The cognoscenti will be familiar with the fete champetre taking place at that emporium's Carluccio's restaurant between 12 and 2pm on a Thursday.
Hungry Jews gather for the convivial consumption of a filling Italianate feast. The decibels are high, the attire lightly sequinned, the mood uproarious.
Asked to convene there for a meeting, I entered this haven of genial revelry with my daughter and grand-baby Ezekiel Jack, a plump and priceless princeling just 22 weeks old.
We ate. We met. We sealed a deal. Goodbyes were said. We rose to leave and my daughter extracted baby Zeke from his buggy and handed him to me. Bearing him aloft like a small human World Cup, I began the Walk of Naches.
It was, forgive my delusions of grandeur, a little like a royal walkabout. Lunchers on every table greeted me with smiles and Zekey with pats and pinches and a chorus of approval.
"Vanessa, this is your grandson? What a beautiful baby!" "We've heard all about him on the radio". "He's gorgeous". "Such a child!" "Incredible blue eyes". "A lovely nature". "A beautiful boychik". "What a pleasure for you." "A leben on his pupik!"
Slowly we wended our merry way through the hostelry, wading through oceans of kind wishes and relishing each charming expostulation.
Talk about music to a Booba's ears.
Dear Reader, my cup runneth over. The naches quotient was seismic, off the scale, my universe was sequin-sprinkled, the world glowed a glorious shade of rose.
Standing amid the grizzini and stuffed mushrooms, my grandson in my arms, I finally learned the meaning of the ultimate naches.
It engulfs you from your blonde frosted highlights to the tip of your Converse, turns your heart to lokshen pudding and proves conclusively that grand-children are the heavenly embodiment of earthly paradise.