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Back to School Means Back to Mom

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Rabbi Sherre Hirsch: It's time for kids to move on to the next step and a good time for moms to take their own journey.

I think summer vacation is too long. It is time for them to go back to school. And, of course the next few weeks as mothers we will do nothing but prepare them for re-entry: shopping for clothes and notebooks, scheduling extra-curricular activities and arranging carpool. Even with all the work, we do it because we believe that education is the greatest gift we can give them. And with each passing year we enhance that gift immeasurably. One year from now, they will be not only taller and older, but wiser. I know that they will have grown intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

In all this preparation for them, it's worth a moment to think about how you want to be wiser one year from now-- not just intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually too. You probably are not going back to school, but that does not mean that you should stop growing.

To grow your mind: Remember to devote time to your passion--take French lessons, learn to play the piano, read the paper every day.

To grow your heart: Ask forgiveness from someone you may have hurt. Bring dessert to your neighbors for no reason. Put a note in your husband's briefcase, telling him why you love him.

To grow your soul: Do an act of kindness once a week--anonymously. Meet with your clergyperson for a heart- to-heart. Journal weekly about the blessings in your life.

Knowing how hectic my own schedule is each day, it is easy for me to push aside my growth for my family's. This year, I am going to read the newspaper before I go to bed. I may not finish the Sports section, but I will know what is happening in the world. This year, I am setting a date for breakfast with my husband once a month. Dinner sometimes is just too complicated with three kids. This year, I will start writing my own prayers. The first words will be, "Dear God, I am very busy but I have a few things to discuss with you."

Next year, when school starts again, we all will have grown as individuals, and as a family. I wish the same for you.

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch is a mother of three and the author of We Plan, God Laughs. She offers non-denominational spiritual advice.

next: Are We Deceiving Our Little Ones?
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley September 2, 2008, 7:52 AM

Thank you. That was beautiful. I have 2 kids, a son 6, and a daughter, 15 months. My son started 1st grade and it has been an emotional rollercoaster for both of us. He was in half day kindergarten so now he’s all day and I feel like my baby is gone. I’ve cried, he’s cried. It’s been tough. But he loves school and his teacher so we’re getting into the groove of things. I am concentrating on enjoying the baby and my husband and I go out for lunch once a week without having to look at the kids menu.(Even though I sometimes sneak a peek and just think about what lucas would order if he were with us!)

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