Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On children and G'd

Recently I have had the opportunity to reflect on the parallel of the relationship between us and our children, versus us and G'd.
Like any parent, I want to have a good relationship with my children. I try to involve them in some decisions and explain why we have certain rules and why we do things a certain way. I also try my best to listen to them and validate their feelings. Torturing them with antibiotics and eye drops is not high on my list of of fun things to do. All this can go out the window, though, when dealing with a situation where you have to do something unpleasant to your child for their own good/health/safety.
In the last two weeks I have had the "pleasure" of strapping thrashing children into carseats, attempting to wipe a child who has a bad diaper rash and doesn't want to be touched, administering antibiotics and eye drops while someone else holds the screaming child down, cleaning infected eyes amidst cries of "stop"...and other such fun- you get the picture. This was not the first time it has happened, not will it be the last, it has just been happening a lot recently, and has really cause me to think.
Each time, the child was crying and looking at me with pleading eyes and sometimes even disappointment. "You are my mother, how can you hurt me/let someone else do this to me?" It is hard, if not impossible, to explain to a young child that these actions are ultimately for their own good, even if they seem unpleasant at the time.It is hard to see your child cry and thrash in pain, and know that you are the (indirect) cause. It is unpleasant, but you know that you are helping your child, even if they do not understand it and feel hurt.
This theme has been echoing in my head a lot, particularly because it is very much connected to Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year that begins two weeks from tonight.
Only this time we are the children and G'd is our father, a theme that is often repeated in the prayers of the High Holidays. It is a time when we are judged based on our merits and G'd decides our fates for the coming year. And the truth of the matter is, we may not like everything that is being done to us. At times, we may be like the screaming child, refusing to swallow the antibiotics, asking "Why in the world are You doing this to me, G'd? Don't you know this was supposed to be the year of health/job success/insert your wish. You are ruining things for me! This hursts." But what we need to understand is that we are not in control, that we do not know what truly is for our good. But G'd does and we need to trust that there is a plan, even if the medicine tastes quite bitter at this point in time.
This is my project for the next few weeks, my way of preparing for Rosh Hashana. To finally admit that I am not in control, even though I desperately want to be. To "Let go and let G'd" as one cute saying goes. I do not understand His plan and I never will, but I need to trust that, just as I would never want to hurt my children, so too G'd is setting everything up for my own good and whatever pain or suffering I may go through, is only His way to facilitate my growth.
Does this resonate with you at all? What do you think?


  1. R - Always a pleasure to read your blog. Just had to let you know that this post hit home with me and I needed to hear the reminder! :)

  2. Thanks. I am often so wrapped up in the physical part of preparing- menu planning, shopping, cooking, etc that I try to sometimes focus on something spiritual as well :)