It’s our special little car ride as the sun begins to set.
Chaim Boruch climbs unsteadily into the car, where I help him maneuver into his seat.
Next to him is his plate of French toast, and he smiles at me and says, “Aaaahhhhh,” which is his sound for many unspoken words of appreciation, a declaration that “all is good.”
I begin the drive to Fairfax, about 35 minutes away in rush-hour traffic. It’s the end of my day, and I am deeply exhausted; however, this is the only time I can take Chaim Boruch for his craniosacral therapy appointment.
The two of us relax, and I begin to talk to him about all kinds of things—how my day was, what I’m thinking, how proud I am of him, how the sun is setting and soon we will see the stars and the moon . . .
No one else is around, and somehow, Chaim Boruch’s silence is welcoming and calming. I feel myself opening up, going to a deep place in my heart, a place I cannot go when my other children are around.
It’s my special time. All alone, yet not alone.
As I navigate the winding roads under overarching trees, streetlights, and the dark night sky, I think about how no one on the outside, even the drivers who pull up alongside me, know what is going on in my heart.
No one can see the tears in my eyes, and no one can see my fingers gripping the wheel. No one can see me look in the mirror to find my precious little boy, enjoying his ride. And no one can see into my soul, which yearns for so many dreams to come true.
I feel lonely for Chaim Boruch, trapped in his mind, when I see he so badly wants to share. He can’t tell me what is on his mind, what his hopes and dreams are, what he thinks about life and living. I wonder if his feelings were hurt in school today . . . and I will never know.
I am aching for my little boy, all my strength and confidence melting away. There is some comfort in taking this time, though . . . to just be.
To be okay with feeling weak. To be okay with feeling despondent. To be okay with feeling.
I ask Chaim Boruch if I should turn up the music really loud, and he nods yes, with a twinkle in his eye.
So I do. Our car is transformed into a concert; his legs kick the back of my seat with delight, and I drown out the sad symphony playing in my heart. And I sing. I have no musical talent at all, and yet this is where I am safe to just relax, let go, and sing the chords of my heart. Chaim Boruch doesn’t mind at all if I am off-key or if I can’t reach the high notes. It’s okay.
I sing as loud as I can, yet the music covers up my choked-back tears . . . for which I am grateful.
We arrive at our destination. The music stops playing. My harmony is over.
We step out into the cool night air. The stars twinkle and the moon shares its soft glow. Chaim Boruch lets out one of his “Aaaaaahhhhh” sounds . . . and I do the same.
(first published on www.chabad.org)