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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Looking at Life, and Issues of Trust, with a Fresh Pair of Eyes


28 Menachem Av, 5775

I hope that you'll find the scenario below worth waiting for. My week has been busy helping friends, working, and wearying under excessively high heat. I've needed lots of rest between errands.

I experienced an insight that you might appreciate. I was caring for a friends' child as she met some conflicting schedule demands right after she'd moved to a new home. Boxes and bags of miscellaneous items were strewn across the floors, in easy reach of a curious two-year-old. Here's how things went:

Wednesday was Make a MESS Day as he proceeded to demonstrate that he can open any pkak aka bottle cap, including the ones on his bottle of formula plus his water bottle. He doused the contents everywhere before deftly reclosing the opened containers. We had a war of sorts as he protested my removal of his soaked clothing. Baby formula is so sticky that Doda Yochi (me, Aunt Yocheved) wanted to replace soaked clothing with fresh clean items after washing him clean. 

Name the little boy who wants a bath. Get the picture?

We returned to the scene of the crime, boxes and bags galore outside the bathroom.

I tidied up the kitchen and realized that the baby was quiet. Too quiet. I turned around and found him headfirst inside a box. I peered inside.

His mood worsened when I took away the jar of liquid soap that he wanted to drink from!

It was purple.

It was shiny.

It made bubbles. And the cap had popped off just as I peeked in to see what was going on in there.

But I wiped the pretty goo off his lips and took away the bottle.

Same story on the tanning lotion, the skin softener, and each container of whatever liquid item the child could find. I was stacking boxes in a pile and dangerous contents on a table, out of childish reach.

Poor guy, he could not reason with me! Cute smiles, whimpers, even verbal requests for "Pkak, pkak. pkak!!!" made no difference. He could not reason with me, tease me nor con me out of my "No dangerous contents for you, fella" attitude. Even a hug and a kiss on my knees made no difference. I was one obstinate child minder. But, no matter. Lunchtime proved that we shared love. He fed me mashed hard boiled egg with minced cucumber and tomatoes during his meal. He ate a spoonful that I gave to him, then he dipped his hand in the bowl to smear the remaining contents on his palm. He fed me with his fingers, throughout the meal. He ate, I licked his hand, he ate, I kissed his fingers, and so it went. After each swallow I made he exclaimed "Did it!" He was so proud of me that he clapped with joy.

On Thursday we switched to "Aerobics Day!" He was determined to learn to climb the indoor staircase as his parents do - "Abba this. Ima!" ("Daddy does it, Mommy too") was the goal. So, I held him around his chest and prevented falls as we climbed up and down the stairs for over an hour. We took a break for snacks, and I washed his face and hands afterward despite the gratuitous grumbles that he offered. Then I set him on the floor. He pushed his hi-chair back, headed for the staircase and climbed 5 steps alone, unassisted. As if to demonstrate his prowess, he played with me on the colorful foam mat festooned with cartoon characters, imitating my push-ups and leg lifts as only a two-year old can; He fell on his tummy and giggled.

Anyway, the incident seems to present an example of how my protectiveness prevented falls, poisonings, and major messes, though the baby has no idea what motivates me to behave as I do. He grumbles on occasion, but loves me despite the hardships. He realizes that I keep him safe, fed, clothed, clean (albeit begrudgingly so) and very loved.

Think about it. That's how we go through life, wondering "What the heck?" when GOD intervenes in our lives. We have no clue as to what's behind the scenes aka on Her/His mind, to prevent damage to our souls or bodies. Somehow, we work past the problems we accuse GOD of causing to us (or not), then realize that we LUV Him/Her anyway as it dawns on us that somehow we were saved from a disaster we're not too sure about nor understand in retrospect.

Loving parents, grandparents and guardians, I'm sure that you can relate to the story above, and see yourselves in relationship to GOD with it. We're in GOD's role, so to speak, when it comes to child-minding. And that clues us in to our role as children of our Creator. Somehow it happens that though we pursue some goal or other, it seems that, at times, there is a conspiracy to prevent us from achieving it.

Illness, disability, the loss of loved ones, inner and outer pain, name the challenges. They hurt in agonizing ways. We have preferences not being met. And yet. And yet... Some things in life are so wonderful, reliable, and soothing.

We can put life into perspective, focus on the richness, see the blessings despite the agonies, and go forward. Even if we need time to catch our breath or to rebuild our strength first, we can redirect our thoughts and perceptions in a pleasant, productive way.

What are your thoughts about that?  


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