26 August 2009

My Theological Conundrum on What to Say In Response to a Baby Compliment

So, we get compliments from people on our daughter - yay. Initially, when people said something nice, I would amusingly make some noise, not sure what the right thing to say was.
Then, my wife said that the proper response is to say, "Thank you", since they are proferring a compliment.
However, my problem with this is that while we were involved with creating her, a rabbinic statement says that there are three partners involved in the creation of life: a male, a female, and God (Niddah 31a), so why are we necessarily accepting the compliment.
Furthermore, any glance at the Bible will yield the obvious result that the proper response should somehow entail a recognition of God's blessing and handiwork and that this is surely it.
Personally, I don't feel comfortable saying "Thank you" on people complimenting the cuteness of our daughter, because I think that we should say "Thank God".
The one problem with this is that it may sound weird for two reasons: 1) I may come out sounding like a religious freak and 2) someone expecting an appreciate response such as "Thank you" may feel slighted at not being properly acknowledged for their proffering.
Oh well, I guess I will have to figure it out situationally.

5 comments:

Aliza "La Jewminicana" Hausman said...

I think if you keep the "Baruch Hashem" down to a 5-10 minimum during a conversation then you should be able to walk out of it without seeming like a religious fanatic.

Drew_Kaplan said...

ha! that's great :)

sweetawreet said...

I also feel weird when people compliment me on my son's cuteness. I thank them, then say I can't really take credit for how cute he is. I just provided some genetic material, and he did the cute part himself.

Ruth said...

You could try this line, "For babies, being cute is a survival strategy." (Which it is--but also kind of gets you out of the situation.)

Catherine said...

Go for religious freakiness. We need to reclaim the implication of "That person is very religious" - from "they must be coldhearted, proud, and illogical" to "they must be full of humility and divine love".