Yesterday was a big day. Shalom Baruch had his upsherin.
It's a transformation. Suddenly, the long pony is gone, the curls are gone and all that's left is a cute little boy (with the same fun, wild personality) with a whole different look. He starts to look like...an adult. His face still has those little baby features but now I start to expect so much of him. It looks like he went through such a major change...until he has his first tantrum. Then I realize, he's still the same little kid he was before his haircut.
I look at my big little boy and I think about so many things. I think about my hopes and dreams for my oldest child. I think about the role model I want him to be for his younger siblings and how I hope he will show them the right way. The oldest child has a certain responsibility. His siblings look up to him and want to follow what he does. When the oldest child is good, does what is right, listens to and respects his parents, his younger siblings (hopefully) follow in his lead. I hope my son will be the proper role model for his siblings.
I look at that yarmulka he wears so proudly and I hope he will always be so proud of the yarmulka on his head. I hope he will never, ever want to take it off. That he will love Judaism...each and every part of it. That his heart will be filled with love AND fear of his creator. A yarmulka is meant to be a reminder...Yarei Malka, fear of the king.
And I wonder...
A man keeps his head covered at all times to remind him that there is always something, Someone above him. Is that the reason why a woman also covers her hair? Is that supposed to be a reminder for her too?
Da ma l'malah mimcha...know that there is Someone above you...remember Hashem always...place him in your mind...think about Him. Think about Him when you make decisions in your life, when you are unsure of right and wrong...
I hope my son will be able to make the proper decisions as he grows up. There are so many temptations out there. When I think about what it will be like to raise my children in our generation, in the generation of technology, where you get things you want faster than you can snap your fingers, I get scared. It's scary to raise a child in a generation like ours. But I daven and hope for siyata dishmaya and that Hashem help me teach my children properly, every step of the way. That I do the right things, instill love for Him in their hearts and teach them by example what it means to be good, to do what's right.
I look at his proud smile as he runs to put on his tzitzis in the morning. I hope he will always kiss them the way he did this morning. With such happiness, with such excitement. How will he hold on to his innocence, to his love for this mitzvah?
Tzitzis are meant to be a reminder, v'lo sasuru acharei levavchem v'acharei eineichem. Do not stray...do not let your eyes wander...Shalom Baruch, if I could engrave just one message on your heart, this would be it. V'lo sasuru...Don't let your eyes wander. Don't look at things you shouldn't. Don't look at what other people have with jealousy. Keep your eyes pure. Keep your heart pure. Hold on to the precious innocence you have now. Focus on what you do have and be happy with it. Don't keep looking further, for more and for better. Because it may not be better. It may not make you any happier. What you have is best for you.
I look at my little boy and I feel blessed. Thank you Hashem for helping me reach this milestone.