From the Mouth of Babes

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By: Blumie Abend

 

It is a long night.

I am waiting for the first light of dawn

To peer a lazy head beneath the cracks in my windows

And smile with rays of warmth.

 

Layla and I speak

About imperfections,

I told her once something that perhaps I should not have.

She is young.

She is vulnerable.

She is moldable.

I told her that G-d made everyone have different ‘imperfections’.

Some people have bad hearing.

Some people don't see well.

Look- see?

Mommy wears contact lenses to help her see.

Some people are in wheelchairs

Because their legs don’t work.

Some people have a big nose.

They might not like having a big nose.

But that is just the way

They were made.

 

I told her about imperfections.

So that she knows that we live in

An imperfect world.

And just like parts of her

Are not visibly perfect.

Each one of us has

our own aspects of

Incompletion.

 

Yesterday, at bedtime, she told me,

“I don’t like Hashem (G-d).”

“Why?”

“Because. He does bad things.

He makes people sick.

He even made your eyes not work so well.”

 

I try to reason.

I use logic.

I remind her of her best friend in school.

Who made her? Hashem.

I remind her of her sister and parents and her cousins.

Her grandparents, her aunt and her uncles, her teachers.

Her gymnastic class.

Her favorite doll.

Her magnatiles.

Her play doh.

Her scooter and her bike.

“See- Hashem gave you all those things. He does good things, too.”

She is trying to internalize.

Categorize the opposing feelings of goodness and gladness, amid frustration and confusion.

“But he also does not good things. Why does He do not good things, Mommy?”

From the mouth of babes.

I do not know, my child.

I do not know the answer to your question that echoes within my own soul.

I may be all grown up.

A mother.

An adult.

But the same painful question torments me.

It is eating me.

In a world of disproportionate evil, I cannot fathom His ways.

I cannot answer her;

Because my own trust and belief are at war.

Just like hers.

I wallow in the sadness that her question evokes in me.

I feel I may drown in it.

An all consuming blackness, an endless hole

Of why and how and shock.

When we are hit

Time after time after time.

When bad things

Happen to good people.

When an ever Kind G-d

Does things

That do not seem so kind.

Yet we dare not question.

But inside my heart, I question.

I scream and I pound on His door.

Why?

How are we supposed to accept

Your burdens?

When will we reach

Our breaking point?

When will the true colors

Shine?

When will the morning

Come?

From the mouth of babes.

My faith is shaken.

But from the Hand of G-d

I pray it will be restored.

 
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Blumie Abend

is a mother, writer and teacher living in Los Angeles. She has three children and draws on many of her experiences as a mother to impact readers with soulful writing. 

Rochel Lazar