A Bisl Torah

Morning Goodbyes

This week I dropped my son off at a new camp. In the mornings, I offer to sit on the gym steps and wait with him until a familiar face arrives. With a tight-lip and strong face, he shakes his head and stoically shoos me away. Feeling a bit negligent, I walk away. My thoughts begin a conversation: “But, he barely knows anyone.” “Stop. This is good for him. Let him figure it out.” “He’s only 4 ½. Maybe I should go back and take him home.” “He told you to leave. Let him grow up.” I always end up back in the car and remind myself of the smiling counselors and most of all, that my little boy asked me to go.

Some may shake their head and wonder why I left. But I see my son asking me to leave as a wonderful thing. I should never be the cause of holding my children back from reaching their fullest potential.

Shemot 14:15 reads, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.’” Before crossing the Sea of Reeds, the children of Israel were lost in their thoughts, filled with fear and agony. Before them was the raging sea and behind them, an army of Egyptians ready for battle. God was steadfast with conviction and faith in the Israelites’ ability to rise to the occasion. Instead of entertaining their doubt, God commands Moses to tell the Israelites to move forward, leave, and grow through their journey—no matter the difficulties they will surely face in the days ahead.

My son was the one who told me to go and I was the one with tears on my face. Letting someone go gives rise to extra space, room for both people to stretch their hearts and expand their minds.

It’s been just a few days, but how he has grown. And so, have I.

Shabbat Shalom.

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