Tomorrow my daughter Dana moves to Los Angeles. She’s lived with me for three months between college and career. This prayer was first written and posted last year. In the past few weeks I’ve become more keenly aware of the array of emotions captured here: joy for Dana’s achievements, concern with my own life transition. Here it is in Dana’s honor, revised (tweaked, really) based on comments from readers.
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.
May she be a blessing to her / his [new] community.
Lead us back to each other often,
With stories of marvelous moments and amazing discovery.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Who watches over the lives of our children.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: As I noted (more eloquently) after the original post, this is a prayer of affluence. The ability to send a child to college, or help to launch her into the world, is a blessing in itself.
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