Posts Tagged 'Hugs'

Being Present for a Difficult Topic

Two week’s ago in the Torah portion we saw Yaakov give Yosef a coat of many colors. While this special gift was supposed to be an expression of love between a father and a son, for his brothers it was a sign of Yaakov’s unfairly favoring Yosef. This led them to sell Yosef into slavery. In our Torah portion this week Yosef is finally reunited with Yaakov. It is interesting to note that he is not interested in any more presents, only his father’s presence. Last week we celebrated Chanukah and we very deliberate to get each of our children presents that they would enjoy that spoke of our love for them. Kindles so they could read and play. After this senseless shooting, the gift was out of my mind and all I could think about was wanting to be present for my children.

Like many other parents, Adina and I spent the weekend deliberating what we should tell our children about the horrific shootings this past Friday. The school in Sandy Hook Elementary is about an hour away from our children’s school in Connecticut. We both knew that there was nothing really to talk about with Emunah (3) and Yishama (6), but what could be hope to say to Yadid (8) about the death of so many precious innocents? This past Monday night when  I got home I pulled Yadid into the kitchen to talk with him in private. I asked him what they talked about at school that day. He reported to me what the school had communicated to us the were going to messaged to him verbatim. I was happy. I asked him what he was thinking about, what he was feeling, and if he had any questions. Yadid said that was sad for what happened, but he wanted to talk “when the kids were not around.”While we did get to talk about it later, I am still moved at his sensitivity. Evidently Adina and I are not the only ones who was thinking about what the right way is to talk about such a difficult topic.

There were many ways of communicating our love to our children and many ways of helping  them deal with a crisis. In the end no presents will replace a long hug and being completely present in the moment.

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Push The Button

Yishama our son just finished Kindergarten a couple of days ago. I got the following e-mail from Maya the mother of Ella  who is in his class. And yes, Yishama and Ella have been dating all year-long. Maya wrote:

A few weeks ago I saw Yishama and he asked me, “Do you know Ella has a button? Do you want to see how it works?”  Of course I was keen!  So, he proceeded to push his finger gently on Ella’s cheek and she immediately hugged him!  Ella said, “It’s a hug button, so when Yishama presses it I know he wants me to hug him.”  It was SO cute!!!!  I really hope they are in the same class next year…

We expect a lot from day school. We expect them to teach our children reading, writing, math, science, Hebrew, Jewish history, liturgy etc. And when you get a story like this, you just have to pause and realize how important it is to socialize our children. How would this world look if people had “hug buttons”? And even if we had them, would we be too proud to press them? We all need to learn how to share affection better.  I have so much to learn from Yishama and Ella. And yes, I have to admit that there is part of me that is keen to see the unfolding of the “…”.


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