A Bisl Torah

To My Son As He Starts Kindergarten

Dear Zachary,

The Talmud says that a child should be thrust off with the left hand only so long as one brings him near with the right. I take this to mean, I should be giving you enough room to grow, develop, use your voice, and exercise decisions without my opinions suffocating your own. You should feel my comforting presence without being stifled, pigeon-holed by parental expectations, wishes and desires. And yet, all I want to do, is hold you close, smother you with love, and remind you that no matter what age you are, in my eyes, I still cradle the 9lb 2oz baby we brought home from the hospital almost six years ago.

You told me that you don’t like when I “babysit” at night because babysitters make forts, tell elaborate stories, and create funny games. In your exact words, all Mommy does is give “hugs and kisses.” In those few seconds, you both broke my heart and filled me with such inexplicable joy. Because although now, you wipe your cheek when I kiss your scrumptious baby skin, perhaps one day, you’ll gather me in with your own right hand and savor our moments as mother and son.

And so, as I hold you at arm’s length, yearning to bring you closer and closer, my son, here is what I wish for you as you start the first day of kindergarten:

May your eyes widen with curiosity and wonder, eager to drink in the wisdom of the world.

May your hands stretch open, allowing friends and newcomers learn from you, allowing yourself to learn from others.

May your lips speak words of kindness, consideration, thoughtfulness and care.

May your heart be seen and felt, shared often, and when hurt, understand where to turn to help you heal.

May your soul have the courage to remind you time and time again, God put you on this earth for a reason. Just be you.

Most of all, may you see my arms open wide. Ready to embrace you through your tears. To pick you up when you stumble. And gently nudge you forward when the path seems impossible to travel.

My hands are here, whenever you need. In the meantime, my sweet Zachary, I pray that you fly. I pray that you soar.

With love and lots of hugs and kisses,

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