Our job as parents is to guide our children. To nourish their minds and their souls. To teach them so many things in so few years. But if you open your eyes and ears to your child, they will teach you as well. This happened last weekend.
Last Shabbat, my older son, Miles, who is a few months shy of 6, took out a set of checkers that he had never played with before. Holding two pieces up, he asked me how to tell which is which. I was bewildered and I replied not entirely kindly, “What do you mean? Put the red ones on one side and the black ones on the other.”
Now he was bewildered. “No, Mama, how do you tell which is which?” he asked again.
At this point, I am slightly ashamed to admit that I moved from not entirely kind into mildly annoyed; I had a friend over and we were trying to have a conversation – couldn’t he see that!?
“These are red and those are black, put them on either side of the board!” I fired back at him.
Now he looked downright distraught: “You don’t understand! Is the crown decoration on one piece bigger or smaller or what!?”
I was done. “Go ask your father,” I spit out impatiently. He sulked away to find my husband, clutching a red checker in one sweaty little hand and a black one in the other. Read the rest of this entry →