While Some moms like to plan ahead, I’m happy just savoring my little boy’s early years. And who has time to fantasize about the future anyway? With each day requiring constant vigilance to ensure the health and happiness of both him and his beloved collection of nomadic teddy bears, my son’s transition to adulthood is hard to fathom.
So when I was asked recently about my hopes for my 2-year-old’s bar mitzvah, I was at a loss. Contemplating this milestone is akin to wondering where he’ll attend college, which profession he’ll pursue (doctor please!) and whom he’ll one day marry.
After all, my son has only just begun a once-weekly, two-hour-long program for 2-year-olds and their caregivers. Though he’s adapting to the regimented class schedule, my little one demands my constant
supervision there. Merely trying to prevent a massive flood in the bathroom, due to his newfound fascination with all things aquatic, requires all of my mental and physical faculties. As I wonder each week how I’ll muster the strength to get through an entire year of mommy-and-me class, his future primary school career seems far off at best. Hebrew school is a mere abstraction.
Staying seated during circle time is an ongoing battle. Plus, he’s barely begun to string words tog-ether, and he cannot yet read. How can I make the giant leap of faith it takes to imagine my son buckling down each night to master his Haftorah portion, in Hebrew no less.
While some parents of young children may envision their child’s triumphant walk up to the bimah wearing the prayer shawl of a cherished relative, I fantasize about the day that my son can walk confidently up a staircase, in a clean shirt, without the ever-looming threat of a misstep sending him hurtling downward.
When it comes to exposing my son to his Jewish heritage, I have no grand ambitions, just small hopes. Perhaps next Passover Seder he’ll be able to open the door for Elijah, successfully fighting the urge to run out into the street to play. I’ll give him his first taste of matzah, and despite his finicky palate, he might actually like it. He does love anything crunchy and salty. And maybe, with some help, he’ll join the chaotic search for the afikoman, although he won’t yet comprehend what he’s looking for or its religious significance.
As for now, I’ll continue to take baby steps, tackling one day and one small milestone at a time. There is plenty of time to worry about the future.