Just Like Tatte


My children are, like all children, very curious about the way the world works.  They put such great effort into doing all the things that their Mama and Tatte do, trying endlessly to mimic what they see.  It always makes me smile to see Tevye and Saarah try their darndest to do things just like Tatte.

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the couch on a lazy afternoon, drinking some coffee and reading a book.  Tevye had told me that he was going to sit on the couch with his milk and look at his book about trains.  While his book doesn’t have much of a story, it’s full of flaps with secret pictures hidden beneath, which I’m sure makes for hours of entertainment for a two-year old, but not so much for a 26-year-old(nearly 27, ugh I can’t believe how old I’m getting).  Next to our couch we have a small black table that we use as a coffee table.  If the children are around, I will generally hold on to my drink for dear life, otherwise Saarah will drink it, and the last thing I need is a Saarah full of coffee.  I believe that Saarah must have been having a nap at the time because I had my coffee set on the table while I read.  At this same time, Tevye had a cup of “Purple Berry Milk”, as Tevye puts it(why does he need to preface it with “Purple”?  Wont “Strawberry Milk” suffice?  It’s not even purple, it’s pink!  The only time it looks purple is when it’s in Tevye’s blue cup).  I’d initially set Tevye’s milk on the table while he settled himself on the couch.  After a few minutes of us reading our books and consuming our beverages, I noticed something. As I picked my coffee up off the table to take a sip, out of the corner of my eye, there was Tevye also picking his drink up.  I took a sip and put my cup down, at which point Tevye also put his drink back down.  I thought perhaps it was coincidence.  I put my feet up and crossed my legs at my ankles, and Tevye did the same.  So I picked my drink up again, took a sip, and put it down.  So did Tevye.  I turned the page in my book, and so did Tevye.  I never said anything, except to Nicole, who was sitting on the other side of me.  I just thought it was neat that my son should want to be just like his Tatte.

It’s really nice to be a super-hero in my children’s eyes.  If I so much as pull out a screwdriver or a hammer, Tevye is right there to see what amazing things his Tatte will do next.  If I’m putting clothes in the washing machine(oh jeez, I need to do laundry.  I completely forgot.  I’ll do it later, I promise), then Tevye and Saarah are right there to help me untangle clothes and put them in the washing machine.  If I’m making supper, Tevye will run and get a chair so he can see exactly what is being done.  If he is allowed to help, he’ll nearly launch himself off the chair from excitement.

While this is all wonderful, cute, precious, and a whole list of other adjectives, it’s also horribly nerve-wracking.  “With great power comes great responsibility”.  Each time they make every effort to copy their Tatte, I’m reminded of the fact that everything I do is noble and just in their eyes.  It causes me to be much more aware of when I’m not acting in a way I would want imparted on my children.  It does a really good job of keeping me in line in regards to my language or how I act when I’m not happy with them.

I know that Hashem is always watching, and we, as Jews, should always keep that in the forefront of our minds, but it’s so easy to just forget.  You wouldn’t walk through downtown Halifax scratching your bum, but you would if you were left alone in a room and your bum happened to be itchy.  Likewise with all sorts of things that we shouldn’t do(not that scratching your bum is inherently bad, but you get what I mean), we’re inclined to think that if nobody is looking, then it’s okay.  Hashem is always looking, and at the end of the day, His is the only opinion that actually matters.  The kids are really good at keeping me in line, even when I don’t think that anyone is looking, because they’re always looking as well.  Even when I don’t think they’re in the room, I will still try to watch my language as they may be just outside the door.  And they’re so small that they have a habit of sneaking up on me.

Once again, my children are helping me to become a better person.  Thanks kinderlach.


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