Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Child, My Teacher

"Hit him back," I tell my little boy. "If he fights with you, just hit him back."

It's all wrong. It's not what I'm supposed to be telling him. It's not what the parenting books say. But someone is picking fights with him, and I know he won't stop as long as my little boy allows it. As long as he doesn't do anything to defend himself.

"I don't fight," he says.

"You're not fighting. He is. You're just defending yourself. Just kick him when he comes near you. Just to keep him away."

It's sounding all wrong. The parenting experts would be horrified.

"I can't kick him," he says quietly. "I'm afraid I'm going to hurt him."

"But...but...he's hurting you!"

"I can't," he says again. "I can't hurt people."

I look at him, as though seeing him for the first time.

I can't hurt people....

I hug him. And I am ashamed of myself.

There are moments when a seemingly insignificant incident reveals a profound insight about a person's character. This is one of those moments.

I learned who my little boy is. I learned something about his deepest self. I learned that not only do I love him, but I admire and respect him. I learned that there is so much he can teach me. I learned that he is not only my child, but also my teacher.

My little boy is growing up. Today he is a child with a sensitive soul. A child who can't hurt people. A child I am so proud of. With Hashem's help, he will grow to be a sensitive adult. An adult who will not hurt people. An adult I will be proud to know.

Do it your way, my little boy. I am honored to be your mother.


  1. still...he had to learn it from someone...

  2. Maybe, however, as it says, Kol hameracheim al achzorim, sofo sheyisachzeir al rachmonim. There is a time for war, and a time for peace!

    I hated fighting as a kid, but when the time came that I needed to, I had no qualms doing so!

  3. It's amazing what we learn from them

  4. This post brought tears to my eyes.
    Shep nachas.
    You deserve it.

  5. Why am I not surprised? Hope he grows up to be as sweet as he is now.

    Just curious, what do the parenting experts say you should do in such a case?

  6. colloquiallyspeaking...

    He did...if that's really the right thing to teach him.

    Burnt Dreadlocks...

    Maybe. But he's not a fighter. And I'll keep him just the way he is.


    It is.


    Thank you!


    Amen. Thank you.

    Honestly...I have no idea. But I'm pretty sure they wouldn't encourage a kid to kick back.

  7. Wow!

    He's really adorable, pure and "good" through and through. I LOVE this little story, and it's so interesting that you picked it up so well. Yes, I guess he is your teacher in a way, but the traits he has are from you. So while you think you saw something in him that you can learn from, these qualities are undoubtedly in you as well, and you don't see it, until you look into the mirror your little boy provides you with...

  8. Very moving.
    I hope your son can remain true to his tender heart.