My son, Shmuel, was born four years ago on the 10th of Cheshvan. My wife woke me at 3 a.m.; we were at the hospital a bit after 3:30. Not her first delivery, the labor was quick. By 5:45, she gave birth.
So efficient she was, I thought that there would be time to make it to my regular 7 a.m. minyan in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. Our newborn would fit into my schedule -- everything according to expectations; everything as planned.
I accompanied the baby to the post-delivery room. The doctor, flanked by two nurses, labored over the baby with unexpected focus and intensity. Finally, the doctor emerged. Our newborn, he suspected -- really, he knew -- had Down syndrome.
Devyani Saltzman sat frozen over her math homework as her parents screamed at each other one evening at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992. Her mother, the Indian-born filmmaker Deepa Mehta, had come to Cannes to premiere her first feature, "Sam & Me," about the unlikely relationship between an elderly Jew and his Indian caregiver. Devyani's father, Canadian-Jewish producer Paul Saltzman, had joined her to celebrate.Instead, their own relationship unraveled that evening in what was to be the last fight (and, essentially, the last day) of their marriage.