Accepting Strength

The stronger my children get…it seems sometimes, the weaker I get. I’m usually the first person to load myself up with packages to carry. It is completely foreign to me to stand back and watch “the men” grab all the packages and bags while I stand there and carry nothing.

I have seen this all my life – watched other women stand back while the men do the heavy lifting. In many ways, they are perhaps smarter and yet, next picnic, barbecue or major move…there I am lifting again. One of the strangest passages that occurs in your life, it seems, is accepting the passing of the strength – that time when you look at your sons (and daughters) and realize they are physically stronger than you.

More and more, I let my sons carry the heavier things and more and more, as I lift something, one of my sons comes forward to meet me and take the burden. It is natural for them and so strange for me. Yesterday, we went to buy paint for the new house. I went with Elie and my youngest daughter and following the stereotyped preferences, picked a light blue for the boys’ rooms and sure enough, my little one started paging through the pinks.

When the older man at the store came to assist us, we discussed paints and colors while Elie went and picked out rollers and accessories. He measured by what was comfortable for him, already assuming he will do much of the painting. The store clerk and I agreed on various containers, including one that contains 18 liters of white base paint and is quite heavy.

Without hesitation, he turned to Elie and asked him to lift it and without hesitation, Elie went over and began moving things aside to reach the specific container.

“Do you need help?” I asked stupidly and thought, no, silly, of course he doesn’t need help and if he did…how could you help him? Easily, he picked it up; easily, he placed it on the cart. He has no trouble accepting what his body can do…it is yet another, on top of so many, lessons I must learn – to yield to his physical strength and accept it not as a sign of my weakness, but a glorification of his reaching his truest potential in yet another area of his life.

My he go from strength to strength, always on the path of right and light and health.

Shabbat shalom.

4 Comments on Accepting Strength

  1. Definately. I came home yesterday with about 5 huge bags of study material’s from Ricki’s room at school. I phoned ahead that anyone in the house should come down to help shlep it up the three flights. My husband and my 17 year old son came down. My husband took one, and I assumed that my son and I would each take 2. Well, by the time I had finished paying the taxi driver, the sidewalk was bare. There was nothing for me to carry upstairs besides myself…

  2. Enjoy it. I haven’t lifted a heavy package for years. My back rejoices for it.

  3. As I get older, I often wish I had a man in my life to do the heavy lifting. Sometimes that is the saddest thing for me being single – – when I could really use some help, no one. Sometimes, there are nice salesmen who have helped me carry things out to the car, but that is so infrequent. I always say to myself, their mom’s trained them well.

    Sometimes its sad though, to see the strength get passed.

  4. It that nurturing side of a woman perhaps that needs an outlet. Caring for others means carrying their burdens and I know – for me – I sometimes assume the burden can come in the form of a heavy bag. God often reminds me that, as a giver, I need lessons in learning how to receive as well because it allows me to practice my dependence on Him and it blesses others to be givers. As usual, your post is so very filled with feeling and insight.

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