So Many Voices
A Chai mother’s personal reflection looking forward to Passover with her family
There are many voices in a mother’s head.
Many, many voices in the head of a mother caring for a chronically ill child.
“Pesach is coming!” One voice screams for attention.
“Kids need me now, no time to organize, declutter, even think about getting ready to clean.”
“Check the calendar and schedule hospital appointments and order medications before Pesach!” That loud voice is vying for my attention.
But I’m busy trying to juggle all the kids at home, along with the rest of society just trying to hold on.
“Be patient, be calm, this too shall pass.” Says the mature voice.
“How will I juggle all the appointments, therapies, and needs of a child who needs more attention than he’s getting, but has been put on hold as the world has turned upside down?” Asks that scared voice. It’s a familiar voice I’ve heard many times.
That voice wonders if development has fallen behind, if I’ve given enough, to my child or to myself.
“We will get through this, one room at a time! We can even turn this into a fun therapy seek and find game to settle the guilt!” The practical, ideological voice. That voice is sometimes annoying. But we need him for balance.
There are many unknowns in the world today Important things have been put on hold for the greater good of society, and at the detriment of the greater good of our child’s development. But we pray for resilience, and determination in the face of this challenge.
And of course we pray for patience. We like that mature voice, we invite him into the room often.
We will need that patience to calm our nerves during what most Jewish women have agreed for thousands of years is one of the busiest times of the year. It demands our time, our hard work, all while the rest of our responsibilities cry out for our attention.
“You’re doing your best, you’re giving your all, that’s all you can do, the rest is in the hands of The One Above.” says the voice of forgiveness.
And perhaps He’s the most important voice of all. Because it will be hard, we will fall and we will rise, but when we sit down at our beautiful table on seder night the real sense of accomplishment will be the knowing that as a family having gone through crisis, we are a strong team who can do anything together. And it won’t be perfect, but it will be ours.