For years, the commandment to “Honor thy mother and father” always came ridiculously easily to me. I was the dorky kid in high school who, while I did my fair share of partying, never missed a curfew, and who always ran to tell my parents the details of every excellent grade or youth group accomplishment. In college I remained the nice Jewish girl, an overachiever who always wanted to please and impress my parents with tales of my academic successes and leadership activities. Sure, I had my wild frat party moments, but overall, I worked hard and made responsible decisions because I wanted to honor my parents’ unconditional love, generosity, and support.
Post-college, through jobs, grad school, and marriage, I remained the good Jewish girl, always wanting to obey, respect and please my parents. That is, until our baby Eliana was born three months ago.
All the sudden, there was a 7-pound, pink-clad, new boss in town.–and I stopped trying to please my parents. It wasn’t my hormone-ridden teenage years that initiated my rebellion and sense of independence, but my hormone-ridden early days of motherhood. All the sudden my new family of three became the priority.
It started the night she came home from the hospital, after an incredibly stressful five-day stay in the NICU. My husband, daughter, and I needed time to adjust to our new life at home. Pre-baby, when my parents used to visit, we’d all stay up late spending extra time with my mom and dad by watching old movies of my childhood. On that first night at home, I sent my parents back to their hotel room before 8 pm. And then every night after that for the remainder of their three-week visit. I was a new parent, and this was definitely new terrain.I still learn lessons from my parents on being the nice Jewish girl they raised. On that first night at home, in our apartment filled with just the three of us, I took time to write a thank-you note filled with gratitude toward my parents for everything they had provided their new granddaughter. Because writing thank-you notes was an important lesson my parents taught me.
And just so no one thinks I no longer obey that important commandment, I am both excited and anxious for my parents to see this article. I’ll rush to show it to them, in hopes that this latest, somewhat rebellious accomplishment from their good little girl pleases them.
UPDATE: Parts of this blog post have been deleted by the author’s request