It's the seventh night of Chanukah.
Four years ago, on this day, I gave birth to a delicious little girl. We named her Chaya Gitty and she already personifies her name. Full of life and full of goodness, I sometimes wonder if she can be too good. But then I see her acting like a regular, normal, healthy little girl, doing things girls her age should do and I smile inside. She is a gift.
Every child is a gift. It sometimes passes us by and we are too busy to take the time to notice it, but on this day I take a few minutes to think and to be grateful. Grateful to Hashem for giving us such a precious little girl who lights up our home with so much sunshine and joy.
The cute things this little girl says, the way she shares and plays, the amount she absorbs and understands, the purity and innocence of her young heart, every bit of it is something to be grateful for.
And she's so happy. So simply happy. What does it take to make a little girl excited? A new doll. And not a huge 18 inch American Girl Doll (even though she'd be thrilled til the sky to have one of those!), just a teeny little Polly Pocket or a small six inch doll. She doesn't expect much and she's happy with the little things she gets.
What do we expect?
What happens when things don't turn out the way we anticipated?
Do we pull through, coming out stronger? Or do we succumb because it's just too hard and our dreams have been shattered?
We all have dreams.
We plan our lives the way we expect them to turn out.
And sometimes, sometimes life just doesn't follow that script. The imaginary life we thought we'd live...with all the hopes and dreams packed into one little fairy tale...turns out to be so different...so much more challenging...yet so much more real.
It's a chance for us to become more real. To discover our essence. To appreciate our strengths and work through our weaknesses so we can become a different person. Stronger, better, more connected...and more whole.
It's okay to wish, to dream...and even to expect to some degree.
But we have to know that Hashem has a better plan.
Even if it doesn't seem all that wonderful in the moment.
He has a reason, there is a purpose, and one day, we may even get a glimpse, a little peek, a little bit of understanding.
It takes work to accept, to let go of the dreams and to create a new reality with the life and challenges we have been given.
But at the end, we will feel happy inside.
To my sweet and precious little girl, I continue to daven and hope that your life continue to be this happy. That you keep that innocence and purity with you for a long time. That you keep being that good little girl, with the right balance of giving and sharing but standing up for yourself when you need to. That the passion you have for doing mitzvos, davening and learning more never leave you...and that you follow on the right path with love every day of your life.
Hashem, I thank you for giving us such a wonderful gift. I can't imagine my family without my little Chaya Gitty in it. And on her birthday, as I take the time to reflect on how lucky I am to have her in our family, I ask you to please give me the strength to take care of her (and all of them), the ability to make the right decisions, and the knowledge I need to be mechanech all of my children to stay on this beautiful and special path we have started on. Let my home be infused with spirituality, positivity and happiness every single day.
Happy Birthday, CG!
And Happy Chanukah to all!