Blessing my Kids, with a Twist

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A few months ago, my teacher Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi advised us to bless our kids before they leave for school in the morning. I’ve been blessing my kids every weekday morning ever since, and I’ve been loving it. And my kids have too. I think the Weisberg kidlings really crave that extra concentrated dose of Eema love and blessing before they rush out the door at 7:21 AM for the big wide school-ish world.

So every morning since school started, I have put my hand on the head of each of my children, and recited the required verses from the Priestly Blessing:

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם

 

Which means:
“May God bless you and guard you.
May God make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God lift up His face onto you, and grant you peace.”

And every morning, after that, I think of an issue that that particular child is struggling with (or some sort of struggle that I’m having with that child) and I give him or her a personalized blessing related to it. Here are some recent examples:
Please bless this boy that he should stop coming into my bed in the middle of the night…
Please bless this girl that she should start loving her teacher, and that her teacher will start loving her…
Please bless this girl that she should stop fighting with her sister…
Please bless this girl that her nose should FINALLY stop running…

But this morning, I had a fantastic JewishMOM lightning bolt of an idea that I really wanted to share with you…

This morning, for each of my children I said the Priestly blessing and then added, “Please bless this child that he/she should grow up to be a great light for the Jewish people!”

What a wonderful feeling it was to give that blessing.

At the moment I said it, it plucked me up by the scruff of my neck out of the sisterly bickering and the perpetually runny noses and the middle-of-the-night bargaining with my son to go back to his own bed. And it placed me, instead, twenty, thirty, forty years into the future, looking straight at the kind of grownups my kids will, G-d willing, grow up to be. Sincere, idealistic, passionate and caring people, parents, and Jews.

That switch of blessing made me look into my children’s faces as I blessed them, suddenly free of the traces of frustration that tinge my motherly life all too often. And replaced, instead, by respect and anticipation for the adults they will become. Please God.

Related posts:

Ima2Seven's Awesome Elul Advice
When a Jewish Mother Dies
The Double-Sided-Tape Mother

6 comments

  1. Hi Chana
    I discover you website and I really like it!
    This advise to bless kids in the morning sounds really good!
    Thanks for sharing all these tips that help put more light into our everyday life and get closer to our children!
    All the best to you 🙂

  2. sometimes when I am having a REALLY bad day and I want to complain about my kids to God, I instead go and say a blessing for their futures. ok so, sometimes I complain too. but the blessing is clearly the better of the two options 😉

  3. Shulamis Silverman

    You should know that since you first blogged about bentching the children I have made a very big effort to do this every morning. That means I have to remember to rinse my hands after having dressed them, etc.! More often than not, I remember. I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you! My children ask for this brocha and value it. I try to have kavanna for all the different things for them in my head as I am bentching them. It has made a big difference in our lives. Thank you for sharing this valuable piece of wisdom!

  4. I’m here via a link at Jennifer in MamaLand, and just wanted to thank you for this beautiful post and this powerful reminder of what really matters. I’m mama to a 14-month-old (my first; so far, my only) and this post made me smile.

  5. Hadassah Aber

    I too have adapted this custom to meet our lifestyle. I bless my kids before they go to bed since my son leaves at 6:40 each morning and I am usually not ready to be blessing at that time – just in middle of brushing my teeth! My kids come to me at night before going to bed for their brocha it starts their day off right!

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