My eldest son came to me last night, pushing off going to bed so he could talk to me. I am well used to this stalling tactic, so I didn’t pay him that much attention. Usually he gets the point and toddles off to bed.
“No, Ima, I want to TALK to you”… uh oh here goes…
He had been with me in the morning when the car gave up on life and waited with me for the tow truck. He wanted to talk to me about that. He started off with “Ima, I am so honoured to be your son”. Gulp. The tears started to form in my eyes immediately.
He continued in that vein, explaining that he was very impressed that I stayed calm throughout the whole stalled car episode, that I didn’t whine or moan, that I didn’t curse at the heavens for yet another incident being thrown my way. He knew what had been on my to-do list yesterday – a lot. He wanted to know why I didn’t rail at G-d, why I didn’t yell and stamp my feet. I explained to him how I saw the whole situation.
Firstly it was a car that we had borrowed and that had helped me / us get to Monsey to visit with the KoD at least 5 times – 5 visits that would not have been able to have taken place had Mr. CarMan not helped us out. Secondly, we were not on the highway in the middle of nowhere with cars whizzing by at 70 miles an hour with no phone service, with all 4 kids in the car. Thirdly, mainly, I told him, we were safe and sound and no one was hurt.
Yes I had a lot of things to do yesterday that didn’t get done, but it was nothing that was more important than being alive and well and kicking!!
“Ima”, he said earnestly, “please teach me how to have a positive attitude. I really want to be like you. I want to be able to see the silver linings in everything. Ima”, he added, “I am so proud of you, I am so proud to be your son”.
It is so humbling that what I perceived to be a temporary annoyance turned out to be a HUGE learning experience for my son, and even a bonding experience for the both of us. It just shows that you never know when your children are taking their cues from you, and whatever behaviour you model for them is that which they will exhibit.