Someone by the name of Lori Borgman wrote an excellent inspirational article for mothers of children with special needs. (You can see the entire piece at http://www.cleftadvocate.org/loriborgman.html: ) But I am going to quote just a bit and take it in a completely different direction.
“Expectant mothers waiting for a newborn's arrival say they don't care whatsex the baby is. They just want to have ten fingers and ten toes.Mothers lie.Every mother wants so much more.She wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, buttonnose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.She wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for beingflat-out ugly.She wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first stepsright on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57,column two).Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons bythe billions.She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe pointsthat are the envy of the entire ballet class.Call it greed if you want, but a mother wants what a mother wants.”
There is something else mothers often want. They want that their children should share their ideals, beliefs, and aspirations. And very often, children decide at some point to go off on a tangent that their parents never dreamed of. I know that I did it to my parents. I was raised to believe in college, honesty, and love of nature. And while I still love nature, and try to be honest, my lifestyle is much more closed that that of my parents. I once asked my mother how she “dealt” with that, and she said: “The bird doesn’t fall that far from the nest.”
And it is indeed true. I am amazed at how similar I am to my mother, despite my differences from her.
And now it is my turn to cope. Two of my sons are planning to move away from home soon. They claim that it is to be able to have friends over late at night, but I know that in truth it is because they do not want to live with all the restrictions that an orthodox Jewish life entails.
My first reaction was: “I have to protest! Silence is consent!” Thank- G-d I had the common sense to NOT do that.
My second reaction was: “Is it my fault?” Well, maybe 5%. The other 95% I refuse to bill myself for. But, what difference does it make that it isn’t my fault? On judgment day, it will make a difference. Not here.
My third thought was: “Will the neighbors feel that it is my fault?” Here I decided to actively decide that I needed to be concerned with the opinion of G-d, and not of man.
And through it all:
“HOW CAN I GET THEM TO KEEP SHABBAS?”
The answer: I can’t. I guess I will have to let G-d defend himself.
And continue to love my sons for all the good things that they ARE.
I guess G-d will Have to Manage on His own (Without my help)