Today was Shalom Baruch's 2nd birthday.
There is so much that happens in two years of a person's life, especially in the first two years of their life. The growth and development that happens from the time a baby is born through the toddler stages are literally astounding. From learning how to smile, recognize peoples' faces, eat solids, crawl, walk, talk, put words and phrases together to come out with a coherent thought, play and share, it is truly a miracle to watch a child learn so much.
Today, I took time to remember the moment Shalom Baruch was born, the doctor's shout of "It's a BOY!" and my relief to have finally given birth. It wasn't until close to 14 hours later, when I was alone in the hospital bed without any visitors, while I was holding my son that it hit me: this is MY son. My own child. My precious baby that I will love and care for all my life. Nothing could take that love away.
I remember the intense feelings I felt as I looked into my little newborn's eyes, tears rolling down my cheeks, trembling and shaking and talking to my baby, telling him all I wanted, wished and dreamed for - all the hopes I had for this tiny, pure, innocent neshama.
I remember thinking at the time: there is no one else here in the room, just me, Hashem and my precious little one.
It was such an intense few minutes.
I'll remember it forever.
It makes me think, didn't we all start off this way?
How did we become so contaminated?
There is so much garbage out there.
We need to keep our eyes, our ears and especially our brains pure and clean.
The internet poses so many challenges. With just one curious click of the mouse, you can find yourself reading, watching or listening to something that certainly should not enter your soul, that pure neshama that you were born with.
So on this day, I take it upon myself, as a zechus for my own children, to be extra careful with the things I look at and read so that they remain as pure as possible. The challenge is incredible. In the summer especially, there are all kinds of people dressed (or not!) outside and it is so easy to take that second glance. It takes work to look away, to guard my eyes, to not click that link and read something that is not good for my neshama.
Don't we all want to keep our purity intact, to the biggest extent possible?
Today is also a day when I can look back and thank Hashem for the many gifts he has given me in these past two years.
A healthy child.
That alone is enough to fill pages and pages of reasons to be thankful.
Two healthy children.
I think I'll stop there.
Hashem, I can never thank you enough.