Last week, we celebrated Rosh Hashana; reflecting on our sweet lives, wonderful friends and family. Our rabbi’s sermon gently reminded us to be satisfied and appreciative of what we have in life; I for one wake each day blessed and extremely satisfied to be the mother of 5 unique, thoughtful and challenging children. During these Days of Awe, I am all the more cognizant of the magnitude of what it truly means to be their mother.
This week is Yom Kippur, a day where we atone for our sins and ask forgiveness for our misdeeds, our painful words and our unfavorable thoughts. Saying sorry is not easy for adults, and terrible difficult for most teens who rarely look at their actions as requiring forgiveness.
A mother asks for forgiveness:
Dear Children, I am sorry that I stood in the way of struggle, that I made your lives too easy when I should have let you grapple with your issues or challenges. You would have learned much more about life and coping that way.
Dear Children, I am sorry that I did not teach you to do your laundry; require you to make your bed or pick up dirty clothes from the floor; ask you to wash the dishes; or turn off lights at night and wake up each morning with an alarm clock.
Dear Children, I am sorry that I did not remind you that with the freedom to express yourselves comes the responsibility to think about the effects your words have beyond simple expression.
Dear Children, I am sorry I made everything so easy for you: You wanted an iPhone, you got one; You wanted an X Box, you got one; You wanted new jeans, and you got them. I am sorry I did not make you work for things and feel the value and pay off of hard work.
Dear Children, I am sorry that I focused on the development of your study skills and not always your human skills.
Apologies that teens might offer:
Dear Mom, I am sorry that I lied about going to my friends house when I went to a party. I wanted to tell you, but when I came to your room the night before, you were asleep.
Dear Mom, I am sorry I walked by you at school and completely ignored you. At first I really did not see you and then it was too late to do anything about it.
Dear Mom, I am sorry I dented the car but it was not my fault. The cement divider was hidden from my view and it should never have been there in the first place. You would’ve hit it also.
Dear Mom, I am sorry I went over budget this month, but there was a charity sale at the LF Boutique and everything was 50% off. You always wanted me to support charities.
Dear Mom, I am sorry I wore your new blouse and told you that I found it in my closet. I actually did find it in my closet after I put it there.
Dear Mom. I am sorry I screamed at you last night, told you I hated you and ended my rant with ‘You R a fucking bitch.’ I should not have screamed.
Dear Mom, You R the best and most thoughtful mom. I am sorry for lying about not turning in the English project. Can you please drive me to the mall tomorrow to get my halloween costume, Oh and good news, it only costs $20!
It is hard to say, “I am Sorry.” But Yom Kippur makes it a little easier.