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Thank You, Son

by Mrs. Deena Yellin


Library » Shabbat » A Day of Rest | Subscribe | What is RSS?


My spiritual mentor is neither a rabbi, a teacher, or a scholar. A spiritual guide of a more unconventional sort, he is too young to grow a beard, and drinks heavily, straight from the bottle. Most of his wisdom is culled from the works of Dr. Seuss and a certain purple dinosaur.

He is my two-year-old son.

Under his tutelage, I have discovered a new magic and spirituality in everyday life. He has taught me that spirituality is not something elusive but can be part of the mundane.

In my previous life, for example, I awoke most mornings by hitting the snooze bar because I dreaded the new day. Nowadays, he pitter patters to my bedside promptly 6 am each morning and grabs my hand from under the covers.

"Up now!'' he shouts excitedly as he pulls me from bed. Like an army general he issues his orders: "Mama outside!''

I wonder if there is a coffee in the world that can give the boost that spurs such a morning attitude.

Most of his wisdom is culled from the works of Dr. Seuss and a certain purple dinosaur
To my son, each sunrise provides the opportunity to explore new things. Armed for adventure with his Elmo and sippy cup, the possibilities are limitless.

There was a time, many years ago, when I might have approached life with a similar sense of enthusiasm. But somewhere along the line, I aged too quickly and became too jaded. I began crossing days off of the calendar with disregard. I lingered in bed rather than leaping out.

But my son's optimism makes me think; If a toddler can be so excited about the unforeseen potential of a new day, maybe the sky is the limit for me, too.

I recall rushing through tasks at a marathon pace, oblivious to the people or objects. Now, with my son in tow, even a short trip to the post office or grocery has been transformed. An errand is more like a journey to be savored. He has taught me to examine every flower petal carefully, to marvel at the planes passing overhead and to turn strangers into friends with a simple greeting and toothy smile.

Traipsing through the neighborhood on my son's heels, I am discovering things I never noticed; that even big scary dogs can be friendly, and, if you look close enough, a dandelion is beautiful.


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Posted by: Jason Goldstein, Baltimore, MD on May 27, 2010

This was an excellent article and a real shot in the arm. I have litle children and I teach them that even though we can't use gadgets on Shabbas we have each other, as opposed to during the week. I even made a song "You can play with you fmaily, you can play wiht your freinds, but don't play with the gizmos" Then you list each gizmo (TV, computer, car etc..) and say no no. I am smiling reading this, which is not normal for me. Thank you, you helped the work day go by a litle quicker.

(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
(Yiddish) Synagogue.
A loaf of bread. Usually refers to: 1) The section of dough separated and given to the priest (today that section is burnt). 2) The sweetened, soft bread customarily consumed at the Sabbath meals.