Pretending, imagining or projecting oneself, is a very
Jewish attribute which should be cultivated. "A person is
required to `see himself' as going out of Egypt. A person
should not judge others until he can project himself in their
place, and so on...
You fell and got a bruise, my sweet little three-year-old.
And I hold you and rock you, as you cry. Your little blue
polka dot dress got ripped. You point to the rip and cover
your face. I encircle you with my arms and soothe you,
telling you I'll fix your dress while Hashem mends your
bruise. You bury your face in my shoulder and we rock. Back
I close my eyes and I pretend. I pretend that you're my only
child. That it's only you and me in this entire universe -
right now. The noise of the other children playing in the
living room fade away and your sweet little arms wrapped
around my neck is all that exists. Your body gets heavier.
Your eyes slowly close as your arms drop to your side. Soon
you're fast asleep and we rock. Finally I put you in your bed
and carefully change you into your pajamas without waking
Then I turn my attention to you, my four-year-old little boy.
You jump into my arms buoyantly. Your big gray eyes laugh
into mine as you giggle your response to the day, and we
rock. You wrap your warm arms around my neck and I feel your
little body melting into me. Your eyes close and I close my
eyes as well, and I pretend.
I pretend that you didn't break the window today, that you
didn't step on the baby's leg, that you didn't kick me when
you wanted another candy. I pretend that you're sixteen years
old and going to yeshiva. That you're striving for all that
vast potential that you have, and that you're succeeding. I
put your now-sleeping body into your bed.
And I look at you, my six-year-old young man. You grin and
slide under the couch with only your blue pajama sleeve
peeking out. "Come." I coo. You reach out your hand and I
catch you and pull you close to me. I kiss you and hug you
softly. I tell you a Midrash I read. You bubble a smile at me
while I tuck you in. We say Shema together and with my
hand still over my eyes I pretend.
I pretend that you didn't have the chicken pox and German
measles within two weeks of each other. And now with piles of
schoolwork for `us' to catch up on, I try to only think of
your shiny freckled cheeks and your toothless grin. After
saying goodnight three times and only asking for water twice,
you roll onto your side and soon are breathing
You look up from your book, my beautiful eight-year-old
daughter. Like the moon reflects the sun, so, too, do your
eyes reflect pure love. "Come, my sweet child." I say, "Come,
and we'll pretend..."