To My Dear Baby
By Avigail Sacks
I can’t believe you will be celebrating your 5th birthday this month. Oh how different this birthday will be to your last! You won’t have your friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins over to celebrate with you. You won’t have the farm animals as entertainment as you planned. You won’t get all those hugs and kisses from your aunties who adore you.
My heart aches when you look at me with your green eyes and say, “can I go on a date with you to Gelatissimo?” I know licking that cotton candy ice cream, with sprinkles on top, was our special time together.
Is it strange when you see me in a mask when I go out, when I sanitize each item of the groceries I just bought, when I tell you that you aren’t allowed to come with me to the shops? Do you feel overwhelmed now that mommy is homeschooling you? Do you get scared when I tell you that you can’t eat the ice lolly I just bought until I’ve wiped it or when I tell you not to go near other people?
Let me share something with you my baby… I’m scared too. I put on a brave face and smile but at times I feel scared inside. I feel sad for our community, for our world. I feel sad for all those who have lost their jobs, for those who have jobs but fear getting ill. For those who have lost loved ones and didn’t get to say their goodbyes. For those who haven’t eaten a piece of chicken in months.
But let me tell you what I’m most sad about…
The lack of self esteem in our people, in our youth, in our children.
For if each individual had a sense of esteem, they would realize their contribution to the world and the impact they make.
They would realise that gathering at parks with their friends is not the responsible thing to do. They would realise that wearing a mask is not a voluntary initiative that they can choose to follow or not. They would realise that going against government and Rabbinical regulations does not make them more noble.
I promise you one thing, there will be a time when we can do all those fun things again. I will hold your hand while we walk to shul, I’ll buy you a cotton candy ice cream and I’ll take you to see animals.
The best gift I can give you this year, my angel, is more than the petting zoo, the lavish party, the mountain of presents. What I will give you this year is the gift of esteem. To know that you and I are exactly where we need to be. We are doing exactly what we need to do. We are not missing out.
Because you are important!
You are worthy!
You are responsible!
You are resilient!
You are a shining light.
And you are saving lives.
I am proud of you