Last year, we sent the above photos as part of our family greeting for the High Holidays. In case you can't tell from the picture, the two shofarot on the left are toys. We started with taking those pictures, then thought it would be funny to get shots of the kids with the huge shofar that you see the kids wielding on the right side of the collage.
Orli still doesn't quite have the hang of it, and puts the entire mouthpiece in her mouth, expecting the instrument to work like a whistle or party blower. But Gabe, after posing diligently, asked if he could try to sound the shofar. He put it to his lips and sounded a sustained tekiah gedolah that resonated through the entire neighborhood.
This year, sounding the shofar is one of his favorite parts about the High Holidays. When we thought one of our veteran shofar-blowers at the congregation would not be available this year, Gabe eagerly asked if he could slot in (turns out the gentleman is keeping his place, but we'll find another opportunity for Gabe).
The point of the shofar is to awaken us; to make us aware of our surroundings and to heighten our senses so that we are prepared for the New Year. Gabe's shofar blowing reminds me that the little boy is growing up, acquiring new skills and new instruments. And I'd better stay alert if I don't want to miss enjoying it all.