I spent the winter of 2011 helping my daughter Dana prepare for and move to L.A. where she’s building her life. Seeing this unfold is the same blessing I received helping my daughter Nikki move to Denver. Transitions are tough on young adults and their parents. I’m blessed seeing my daughters become amazing, wise and powerful women. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
My Child Leaves Home (A Parent’s Prayer)
My daughter / son is leaving home
To begin the adventure of an independent life.
Bless her / his journey with joy and wonder.
Let opportunity open like a rose before her / his eyes.
Be her / his compass and her / his shield.
Lead her / him on a path of discovery
Guided by the love of Torah,
A commitment to mitzvot,
And dedication to the Jewish people.
Bless her / him with mentors and teachers,
Companions and friends,
Scholars and rabbis,
To support and guide her / him along the way.
In this marvel,
In this glorious moment of growth fulfilled,
My heart struggles with contradictions:
Pride and fear,
Joy and grief,
Love and loss.
The landscape of my life is shifting,
Offering new challenges and new choices
In the very moment my child departs.
Give me the wisdom and the strength to honor my own life
With gentleness and courage,
And to embrace the beauty and promise of the time to come.
G-d of our fathers and mothers,
G-d of sacred transitions,
Bless my daughter / son
_______________ [child’s name in Hebrew or your native tongue]
As she / he sets out on this new life.
Keep her / him safe under the canopy of peace.
And lead her / him back home to me often
With stories of marvelous moments and amazing discovery.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Who watches over the lives of our children.
© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day
Postscript: This is a prayer of affluence. I must remember the difference between American 18-year-olds and Israelis: our children, if they can, go to college; Israeli children, because they must, go into the Army. And in other places throughout the world, children go into slavery, stay bound in poverty or may be kidnapped into the sex trade. Yes, this prayer is a prayer of affluence. Just being able to say it is a blessing.
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