How God Might Hear Our Cries

My son is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met. The pediatrician says he’s one of the happiest babies she’s ever met too, and she’s met a lot of babies. He spends the whole day smiling and laughing, and if you bounce him or squeeze him, he squeals on demand. Oh, and did I mention that his BFI (baby-fat-index) is the perfect ratio for squishing and cuddling?

OK. I’ll admit it. I’m smitten; but I’m not one of those crazy Jewish smothers, er, mothers. I’ll definitely let him get married (as long as I get to pick out the girl). I’m perfectly fine with him moving away (provided he moves nearby). And visits often. And has a special cell phone designated for my calls only.

Although I’m (mostly) joking about the lengths I’ll go to to keep my boychikle close by, I do worry that I spoil him because he’s just so darn happy – unless of course it’s nap time, and I try to get him to go to sleep on his own. Then the laughing, giggling baby becomes the screaming, wailing baby.

Now I believe (in theory) that it’s important for babies to learn how to fall asleep by themselves. I just have a very hard time (in practice) executing my theory. And so I got to thinking the other night (or rather early morning) about the conflict brewing within me. I was twenty minutes into a “crying it out” session. My utter exhaustion and frustration had given me an extra dose of will power to not go into him this time, but every minute spent listening to his screaming was complete torture.

As I lay in bed, I started thinking about what was probably going through my baby’s head at that moment (he’s very gifted, you know): “Where’s Mommy? Doesn’t she hear me? Why isn’t she helping me? I’m so alone and sad. Please somebody, anybody, get me out of here!” If only my little boy understood that his mommy was right there, listening to his every sob, crying along with him, dreaming of scooping him up in her arms, but stopping herself because she knew better.

Perhaps our Parent in heaven goes through a similar turmoil when we cry out in life – knowing that we must endure whatever pain we are in, but hating every moment of it. Some people see so much sorrow in the world they adopt a deist philosophy and believe that God made a universe only to pick up and leave it. But Judaism teaches that the relationships we see in this world are mirrored in the spiritual realm, and no normal parent is immune to her child’s pain.

When we go through hardships in life; when we feel all alone in our troubles, we must remember that our pain is not a result of an absentee God, but rather a very devoted Spritual Parent who loves each and everyone of us almost as much as I love my boy.

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  • Avatar photo Sally says on October 22, 2009

    What a clever spiritual take on the old cry-it-out experience. I’m the Mommy of a similar beloved little boy and we’re struggling at 17 months with early waking; The *exact* same thing goes through my head when I hear him crying. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Avatar photo Aliza Hausman says on October 22, 2009

    I love how you’re always able to take something that’s going on in your life and give it a deeper meaning.

  • Avatar photo Allison says on October 22, 2009

    You’re definitey not alone, Sally!
    Thanks, Aliza – I’m glad I found a way to put what I do to good use!

  • Avatar photo Dave says on October 29, 2009

    This is a wonderful website, thank you.
    I once heard Rabbi Tovia Singer say “as much the mother loves her baby at her breast, G-d loves us infinitely more”.
    My sentiments exactly.

  • Avatar photo Bracha Mark says on January 6, 2011

    Hi. love your videos and articles. Just wanted to add one thing. You said G-d loves us almost as much as you love your boy. He actually loves us more.

    • Avatar photo Allison says on January 7, 2011

      Thanks for your kind words and comment, Bracha. I know sarcasm is not always so clear in written form, but I was attempting (with that last) line to play in my intro about being a sterotypical Jewish mother who loves her boy too much. All joking aside, yes, God does love us more!

  • Avatar photo Rachel Spitz says on November 28, 2012

    Thank you for this. I’m loving everything you write. I appreciate your insight.


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