When visiting, all lend a helping hand and do their best to clean up after themselves. Furthermore, they are most appreciative of anything we do for them, give them or buy them, and none harbor expectations. The typical reaction to a birthday forgotten: ”It’s understandable, you have enough on your mind.”
To readers who are thinking, “You must all be very much alike, therefore you get along” — actually, we are about as diverse a group as the flavors in an ice-cream shop. We range from FFB, BT and MO, to chassidish, and not only do we get along, but each of us is eager to learn from the other.
What about hard feelings arising from misunderstandings? Those are easily avoided when a misunderstanding is ironed out before hard feelings have a chance to set in. We are open and truthful with one another, treat each other with respect and warmth, and have a mutual regard for one another’s need for privacy. If our children wish to share or ask for our advice, they know we are here for them and will do whatever we can for them.
That old adage – “A son is a son till he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life” – sits fine with me. I’ve done my time, and I’ll be the first to grant that my sons are lucky to have my daughters-in-law at their side. Hey, I’ve gained some daughters in the bargain.
Ah, but there is one very important component in all of this, one that no day of mine is complete without: prayer. I pray to Hashem to keep all our children safe and sane and to guide them in His ways, and I thank Him for all that He has blessed us with… and pray that He help us be continually worthy of His gifts.
I count myself lucky indeed
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