A Jewish Mother’s Prayer
By Megan Susman
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe. Thank You for the blessing of my children, who are now out of the house and attending a real UC, praised be You. Thank You for giving them ten fingers and ten toes, arms that carry, and legs that walk. Thank you for their eyes and their full sets of teeth. Thank you for ophthalmologists and dentists. Blessed are You.
Adonai, I pray that now they are on the path of college life, that You shall still guide them. I mean this not in metaphor. I visited Adam on his campus and oy, the boy has no sense of direction. The way from Stevenson to Porter is a twisting and deceitful path and I wish You to lead my son on the right way. As he crosses bridges and walks over fallen trees, avoids sullen bus drivers and near collisions with cyclists, walk with his feet as if they are Your own. Also, lead him not down the path of smoking herbs, for in that path lies laziness, false friends, and asthma. Give him the companionship of his books and friends that are equally pale and studious.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe. Thank You for cell phones. Thank You for family plans and unlimited minutes for those on my network. Thank You for the phone numbers so close in digits to my own, yet different and easily confusable. (I am sorry Adam, I did mean to call Rachel last night and not to interrupt you while you were sleeping). I feel that caller ID has been invented to test me and my patience, for I must admit, my children may screen my calls. Adonai, have them call me at least once a week. Let them tell me of their friends and studies, their trials and tribulations, their attendance at the Hillel Shabbat service, and not of their excessive drinking and near run-ins with the police.
Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, keep their bodies whole and sound. Lead them not down the path of tattoos and piercings, or any other mangling of their perfect flesh, blessed are You. Make sure that they shower at least every other day and that my children are not known as “that greasy kid.” Let their ears be washed, both in front and behind and their feet be free of fungus. Let not my Rachel be influenced by her peers at Santa Cruz, for You have blessed her with an abundance of body hair that needs constant maintaining, praised be You. That must be from her father’s side of the family. Do not let her fall on the path of indifference, for I do want grandchildren. But not now, Lord. I do not want grandchildren now. Keep my Rachel happy but safe, virtuous even in her sin. Thank You Adonai, for birth control.
I pray that my children live up to their potential, but the potential that I see, and not what they think in their still-adolescent minds. Hashem, I pray for the economy. Help them find jobs when they need them, and something that challenges and enriches them. I know that Adam is a talented video store clerk, but have him not be a store clerk forever. And please let Rachel find some kind of job, for I am sure the money I give her for food and rent is not spent all on food and rent. Lord, how much clothing does a girl really need?
Lord, I wish to praise You and thank You for all of Your blessings and even all of the trials You place before me. Give me the strength to love without anger, comfort without chastising, but forever place in me the power to guilt my children into doing whatever they should be doing already. Give my children the courage to love with all their hearts, comfort those in need, and to forever be obedient to me. Amen.
Published on page 19 of the Spring 2011 issue of Leviathan.