It was our annual huge Chanukah menorah lighting at the local outdoor mall. We were all hustling and bustling, getting latkes ready, hot chocolate, crafts and supplies and the sound of the chanukah music in our home set the tone for the day.
The clouds were grey and it was rainy and stormy, yet the event would surely take place rain or shine.
I was in the midst of one of my inner mother guilt battles and this one just took it’s toll on my heart.
I could not imagine leaving Chaim boruch at home with a babysitter while we took the other kids to our event. Chaim Boruch is so much a part of everything we do as well as an integral part of our community and yet I could only remember how miserable he was at last year’s event.
Last year we had similar weather and Chaim Boruch spent the entire time crying, kvetching and clearly demonstrating how unhappy he was to be outside and confined to his stroller. I too ran around in circles trying to calm him down and keep the smile on my face although clearly frustrated inside.
This year I just didn’t see how he would manage in his wheelchair in a confined space with a huge crowd, in the cold and wet outdoors.
Yet the battle within me remained strong and every time I thought about leaving him home tears filled my eyes and the ache in my heart was throbbing.
I put some more things together, kind of absentmindedly, thinking about Chaim Boruch and thinking about myself as a mother.
I realized that there were two opponents within me, one was about me and my needs and the other was about Chaim Boruch and his needs.
It was only at this moment that I realized that there would be more hurt done if I would bring him with, and that for me I had to accept the challenge of the evening which would be to accept the feelings and ache in my heart and move forward.
I must admit, the event was beautiful but it just wasn’t the same. Half of me was at home and the other half was at the Menorah Lighting.
The most soothing part of the evening came when I walked in the door, sat down on the couch and watched Chaim Borcuh climb up next to me. As he snuggled right up to my chest he swung both arms around my neck and with no words, just smiled.
He understood. He really did. He was telling me it was okay and that I made the right decision and that he too was okay.
I am always in awe at how intuitive he is and how much one can express without words.
A beautiful Chanukah night.
Mother and son.
Sharing in the miracles of Chanukah and of life.