A Special Woman I Know by Riki Schreiber
The following is an excerpt from the article “What a Special Woman” by Riki Schreiber which appeared in last week’s issue of Binah Magazine.
I’m thinking of a woman I know.
A woman many of you know too.
She’s a woman who doesn’t always remember to smile at her son before commenting on the chocolate smudge on his cheek, who forgot to return her daughter’s teacher’s call, and who is about to climb into bed even though there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. A woman who doesn’t always remember to check her children’s homework and sometimes forgets to give her husband a moment to breathe before spilling out the day’s frustrations when he comes home. Who had been planning on writing a letter of appreciation to her parents for over five years now and just never got around to it, and who said something nasty just as her two hours of shemiras halashon were about to begin.
I think about how this same woman wakes up five times for her baby at night and doesn’t get a chance to make up her sleep during the day. I think about all the band-aids she dispenses, the smiles she forces on her face even when it takes herculean effort, the hugs and kisses she gives so generously, and the hair she checks for lice.
I think about seven sandwiches she makes every morning, catered to seven different tastes, and the quick tefillah she adds along with the salt and pepper to her soup. I think about the makeup and sheitel she dons to attend school events she has zero interest in, the distances she covers with swollen feet to find that perfect top for her tween’s particular taste or lack thereof. I think about nine long months, multiplied any number of times, during which she heroically continues to clean, wipe, launder, fold, organize, cook, bake, and start all over again.
You know what? I think she’s a special woman.
And even though she’s alive and well, baruch Hashem, and sitting at her computer (even though she is supposed to be using this window of quiet time to be saying her daily Tehillim), I’d like to eulogize her, right here and right now.
So put down that soup ladle, spatula, or broom. For just one minute, stop your race for the ever-elusive finish line. Undo the knot of your apron and listen to me for a moment. I’d like to eulogize us. Yes, us. Every single one of us. Do you hear me? We are special! We are supporting our husbands, raising our children, and running Hashem’s holy homes.
Look at that woman down there on the floor with the Lego and the little puddle of chocolate milk near the leaking bottle and the bagged diapers that nobody had a chance to throw out yet. Look at her. Isn’t she special?
Something tells me that Hashem thinks she is.