A bar mitzvah opened my eyes.
Bruce Sallan: I attended the bar mitzvah of a friend's son recently. This young man has some relatively severe learning disabilities. Yet, his parents provided him with the sort of support that was full of love and understanding for him. The rabbi adjusted the service to allow him full participation -- within his limits -- and it was as loving a rite of passage as possible, with an equally classy and terrific party afterward.
Even the weather cooperated, as their theme was a rainbow, and at just the right moment, with all of the guests gathered outside, the rabbi asked us to turn around. We saw the setting sun actually make a slight rainbow, as if Industrial Light & Magic were hired to create it.
It was a beautiful event, but I couldn't help but be reminded of how lucky I am to have two boys without any apparent disabilities other than being teenagers. All joking aside, I am sincerely grateful for this good fortune of mine when I see so much hardship and trouble in the world, as well as have friends who struggle with real issues with their children -- like this friend.
Another of our friends that attended this truly joyous event has a child with a serious childhood disease that is largely incurable, so they live with constant fear, doctor's appointments, and occasional hospitalizations for their son.
What do I deal with? Well, I struggle with my older son not doing his chores. My younger son likes to question me on everything I ask of him. Both boys don't eat their vegetables, keep their rooms as clean as they should, or go to bed exactly at their bedtimes. But we are lucky -- and I should know. I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|