children, lessons, Shabbat

The Sunsets of Our Lives

I’m often amazed by what I learn from my children, rather than the other way around.

Today, towards the end of Shabbat, Yehuda came running in from playing. I was engrossed in a book and Josh was reading the paper. We were both enjoying a few quiet moments while all of the kids were entertained or playing outside. Yehuda, breathless, said, “Mommy, Daddy! You have to come outside!”

Both of us, barely looking up, assumed that he wanted us to break up a fight or deal with some issue. We didn’t move. He’d get over it, we secretly thought to ourselves.

“Seriously! Will you come outside?” He pleaded.

And so, we both got up slowly and followed him outside.

What did Yehuda need?

“Look up!” He said with marvel in his voice. “Look at the sky over there.”

Following his finger, we turned to witness a breathtaking, absolutely gorgeous sunset of pinks and yellows, light blues and milky whites.

A sunset that I almost missed, trying to blow off my nine year old so that I could continue enjoying a good book.

And as I held the baby in my arms, looked at Yehuda’s proud face, and enjoyed the glorious Shabbat sunset with my family, I marveled at the many and varied ways that we learn from our children; and at the missed opportunities that we often, unknowingly and unintentionally, create.

And I thanked Hashem for ensuring that I hadn’t missed this opportunity.

And I thanked Him for reminding me that the urgings of a nine year old child are worth listening to.

And I thanked Him for giving me a nine year old son who notices the sunsets, and finds them profound enough to call the family out to see.

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