My four-year-old daughter loves to play house. Typical of a four-year-old girl, she usually wants to be the mommy. Often when she isn’t even playing she considers herself a mother to her dolls and stuffed animals. She leaves me with instructions for how to care for them while she is in school. So I wasn’t surprised when she started talking about becoming a mother for real, iy”H.
One day she very innocently stated that when she will be a mommy she will have newborns. My son, in typical thirteen-year-old boy talk, told her that when her newborns grow up they will have newborns.
I then explained to my little girl that when that happens, iy”H, she will be a bubby. She all-knowingly agreed with me. In a fit of love, I told her that even when she will be a bubby, iy”H, she will still be my little girl. Again she all-knowingly agreed with me and then responded saying, “And you are still your mommy’s little girl.”
I felt that punch in the stomach. Am I? I want to be. But how can I be? I can’t call my mother anymore for a recipe. I can’t kvetch to her about my messy kitchen. And I can’t complain to her about my overload of laundry and errands. We don’t spend yom tovim together, and I don’t tell her about my most recent purchases. I yearn for that status. But sadly it isn’t mine anymore.
And then I remembered….
A few months ago my husband and I had to make a tremendous decision. There were so many negatives and so many positives. I was scared. As we were getting closer to the decision, my fear was escalating. I really wished I had my parents’ guidance.
And then I got it.
I got it by the sudden feeling of my parents’ presence. They arrived at my side. It was a light feeling of something – the sense of their hovering right near me. Something so unreachable but almost touchable.
To those who never experienced such a thing it might be hard to understand. But those that have experienced it don’t need an explanation.
I knew what they were telling me: They were telling me that we were making the right choice. We should continue in the direction we were going in. They would continue to be with us.
It wasn’t the first time I felt it. But in the past it was much more fleeting, almost as if they were in a rush and stopped in for a quick visit. This time it was constant. My parents were with me for a few days straight. It gave me the courage and the confidence to go ahead with what we decided. I knew I had their approval.
This is not the way I would have chosen to continue our relationship. But I know that in a spiritual way they are here for me. I hope, iy”H, I can be there for my little four-year-old until she is 100.
But to respond to her comment: “Yes, Esther Malki, I am still my mother’s little girl.”