Honoring Our Children.

Some of the most memorable and important conversations happen at unexpected times, in random places. We’d just pulled into the garage. I turned off the car, the leftover conditioned air, enveloped us.

“I think the answer is honor your mother and your father,” my older daughter said. She thrives with consistency, with rules leading her way. “It says so in the commandments,” she added.

“I think the correct answer is be honest with yourself and honor yourself,” my younger daughter, who interprets rules as suggestions, proclaimed.

We’d been sharing riddles and logic puzzles on the ride home from school. As we turned onto our street, my younger daughter shared a story from Judaic studies. Her teacher asked the class to decide what they would do in the circumstance the characters faced: a father asked his child not to be friends with another child whose father was an adversary of his. What is a child to do? Honor his father? Or honor the love he has for his friend?

This was my opportunity, to guide them.

I twisted my torso towards the backseat, bracing the passenger headrest, making eye contact with both of them: “You will honor mommy and daddy if you always listen to your heart and do what feels right to you. I will support you in your decisions. I want you to live your life for you, not for mommy or for daddy, or what we think you should do.  In the story, the boy’s father is angry; he’s not coming from a place of love. He’s not honoring himself or his son. When you come from a place of love, honor is always there. If I were little boy, I’d remain friends with the other boy.”

“Mommy, is it true that if you honor your mommy and daddy, it’s like honoring G-d? I think that’s what I heard.”

 “Yeah, Mom, that’s why it’s one of the commandments!”

“I think if you’re honoring what’s honest in you, what feels right to you, you honor everyone around you, including G-d.”

They smiled and jumped out of the car: “Ok, let’s go inside now. It’s getting hot in here!”

 I planted a seed, G-d willing. ~Rebecca


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