The words of mother ring in my ears today, in yiddish she would say “Zolst feelin main taam” literally translated as “may you feel my taste”
Of course what she meant was that i should understand what it felt like when a parents heart is breaking over something their child has done or is about to do.
It’s always hard when our children grow up and decide to leave the nest. Years of battling to make sure that they have all the essentials of life , preparing them for the time when they will have to fend to for them selves.
Nurturing,scolding, waiting up nights till they come home from another party.
“What about your homework, look at the state of your room, who was that guy i saw you kissing as you left the party. Oi I wish you would leave home already so I can have a life!!”
Nu the time comes and our hearts cry out and the tears form in our eyes.
Thoughts of doubt as to what kind of parents have we been, that they should want to leave home.
You know it’s not so bad, promise your mother wont grill the next girlfriend and ask her why she doesnt know how to scramble eggs , or say “surely she could wear something less revealing.”
But leave they must, to sort out themselves and the world they live in.
Our roles as parents have always been to prepare our children to take care of themselves and take responsibility for their own decisions. Its just hard to know when, if ever it’s a good time.
Thankfully they tell us when the time is right.
All we can do then is make sure that we are there to support them when inevitably, they will stumble in the beginning , just when they took their first steps to walk.
Just as then ,as excited as we were with the first steps, they soon were running out of our control and we wondered why we ever let them walk in the first place. But walk then run they must.
Moshe in this weeks Parsha also prepares the Jews for their freedom. It’s his last day and he warns them of the dangers yet provides them with hope if they follow the correct path once he is gone.
Hopefully we have prepared them , our children, when the time comes, to follow the correct path. To be honest and forthright. Kind and understanding. Charitable and humble.
As our own daughter prepares to seek out her own individuality, and like the Jews with Moshe are given Freedom of Choice
“I have set before you life and goodness, and death and evil; in that I command you this day to love G-d, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments… Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life.
I pray and hope that she will choose wisely and that G-D will protect her and see her safely home at night.
My mother who passed away “AH” would be saying “I really didn’t mean for you to feel my pain, because you are still my son and you should never feel such sadness”
But I thank her and my father for giving me the freedom to choose and the sense to understand how much they love me.
As Shabbat approaches and we hopefully get the chance to be with our families and loved ones. Celebrate the time you have together with your sons and daughters,because we can never get this time back.