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Jan 22 2014

Mitzvah Notes For Mommy

By at 9:32 am

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My daughter’s preschool teacher has created a daily task in which we, the parents, write “mitzvah notes” for our children each day. These notes are meant to describe the ways in which our children are helpful, cooperative, or did good deeds. The notes are read in class with the children, who, I am told, are excited to hear and discuss the good things they have done.

I must admit that when I first learned about this task, I considered it a burden. How, I wondered, could we be expected to come up with a good deed that our 3-year-old did each day? Have you ever met a 3-year-old? I knew it would be far easier to rattle off “not so mitzvah notes,” like so:

She refused to brush her teeth.

She refused to get out of the bath.

She refused to get dressed.

She hit Mommy.

She pushed her sister.

She screamed in my face when I tried to comfort her because I was not Mommy.

She did not eat dinner.

She made leaving the house impossible.

She did not clean up her toys.

She threw herself on the floor because I gave her the pink cup instead of the purple cup.

She made me want to cry.

But then, as my wife and I committed ourselves to the daily task of writing these notes, we began to find the good in our 3-year-old, even though this used to feel like an impossible mission.

She hugged her sister.

She shared her food.

She helped mommy with the shopping.

She put her plate in the sink.

She cleaned up her toys.

She made a challah for Shabbat.

She recited the blessings.

She put on her coat by herself.

She told us about what she did in school.

She told me she loved me.

She held my hand as we crossed the street.

She pet our cat gently.

She read a book to her sister.

She said sorry.

She brought a level of joy and excitement to our lives that we have never known.

Each morning my daughter is now excited to see what her note may say. And, sometimes she will even help craft it, demonstrating her growing awareness of her good acts.

Now that I have come to have a deeper appreciation about the importance of recognizing and praising the good things our daughter does, I thought it fitting to publicly recognize and praise my wife in the same way. I believe there is no one more deserving of mitzvah notes than a mother. So, here are some mitzvah notes for mommy:

She woke up three times in the night to calm our younger daughter.

She woke up at least once every night for the past three plus years.

She didn’t sleep before that–when she was pregnant.

She has given up sleep for the benefit of our children.

She made delicious meals for our family.

She ordered delicious food on Seamless.

She let the children devour her breakfast.

She hasn’t eaten a full meal in a while.

She encourages our children to love books and reading.

She encourages our children to love music and dancing.

She encourages our children to love art.

She encourages our children to love animals.

She puts down her iPhone.

She laughs a true laugh.

She is always present.

She is a source of comfort.

She sacrificed her body to create life.

She sacrificed her body to sustain life with her milk.

She told me she loved me.

She made me want to cry.

She brought a level of joy and satisfaction to my life that I have known with her for years.

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