Dear Kids, I'm Sorry.
I’m sorry we have no photos hanging on our walls. It got pushed off so much that I stopped believing it would ever happen. In my defense, you don’t make it easy on me. Between the tears, tantrums, spills and bruises there isn’t much left to work with.
I’m sorry I don’t buy mango often. I know you really like it. It’s annoying to peel, and every time you eat it the whole house ends up sticky.
I’m sorry I don’t always have the energy to play hide and seek or read a book. Every morning I promise myself I’ll go to bed early. I never loved sleeping as much I do now that I’m your mum. They say you don't miss a good thing till it leaves you.
I’m sorry I tell you to eat only in the kitchen, and then, when I get busy or have a phone call, I let you eat wherever the heck you want.
I’m sorry that I get phone calls, although I’m still not sure why this makes me a magnet for your attention. But for some magical reason that ring becomes the exact moment you decide to listen. The first time. To everything.
I’m sorry I escape the house on Sunday mornings and run to the gym. This probably doesn’t make sense as you sit by the window and wonder, “Where is mommy going?” As if I’ve abandoned you on a street corner with only a knapsack sack and handwritten letter. Believe you me, there’s a reason for everything.
I’m sorry if I ask you to bring me things when I sit on the couch. You just seem so small and agile and me so old and frail. Running up the stairs doesn’t seem like a big deal to young kids. I feel like you do it 10 times a day, regardless. What’s one more time to get me a pair of socks?
I’m sorry I stopped working full time. I really thought you would appreciate having me home more and being greeted with freshly cooked meals after school. But all you’ve done since I quit is ask to visit my office and why I don’t work there anymore.
I'm sorry its not physically possible to cut a chocolate bar into equal halves. There is no better time than now to learn about fairness. And its scarcity.
I’m sorry sometimes Totty and I go away and leave you behind. That probably seems like a huge injustice from where you stand. If it’s any consolation, I spend most of the time we’re away trying to find gifts that will ensure you forgive us upon our return.
I’m sorry I keep the art supplies stacked up high, only to resurface on the rare occasion I have patience to clean up a large mess. I understand you go to playdates where it’s one big fun-fest of creativity. But I can’t think straight when there are strands of paper all over the floor. I need to think straight if I’m going to take care of you.
I’m sorry I don’t always have the best response to why we do things. I wish we could sit down and discuss our lifestyle in more depth. I wish I could provide earth-shattering answers to why the sky is blue, why some Jews don’t wear kippahs and how exactly G-d split the sea. I wish I could do all this on one foot while getting breakfast ready, the lunches packed and everyone’s teeth brushed. It’s a good thing you learn in school.
I’m sorry I bombard you with questions the second you get in the car after a long day at school. Every day I tell myself to hold back, give them a minute. And every day I just want to know everything. Who did you play with? What did you learn? Did you happen to tell the teacher something I probably would have preferred remain private?
I’m sorry I don’t make mac and cheese for dinner every night. One day you will hear about this thing called a “balanced diet” and after that you will never hear the end of it. So enjoy the innocence while it lasts.
I know I talk a lot about #reallife and embracing our imperfections. From what I’ve seen, being honest and raw makes way for a warm, welcoming environment. One where we can be happy with where we are and relate to where others are holding too.
And while I can make light of my flaws I also know that if I’m not constantly working on improving, the only direction is backwards.
The Ten Days or Repentance that fall between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are less a time to focus on “This is how I am and that’s OK,” and more a time to say “This is how I am, but I'm going to work on it.”
So, this year I resolve to buy an extra mango or two. I will cringe less when glitter appears. I will make time to sit down and teach the kids some of what I know. I will make time and try to learn from them too.
And even though most of my time is consumed with being a mom, I’ll work on recognizing the importance of growing in other areas, too.
I’ll learn some Torah despite not always being in the mood. I'll try pray a bit Shabbos morning even if I’m in the middle of a really good book. I will not only agree to be on committees, I will pull my fair share of the workload too.
Because sometimes it’s OK to push ourselves that little bit more.
And there is no better time for that than right now.
P.S.I finally ordered some photos for those bare walls.
Wishing you all a Gmar Chatimah Tova. May you be sealed in the book of life for a fantastic year ahead.