Usually the expression, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is said in a negative way. Children taking on the not-such good habits of their parents.
I feel fortunate that yesterday I got to experience this expression in a sweet, positive and affirming way.
I attended a Bat Mitzvah that has left me with thoughts and feelings of hope and respect for the generations to come. Although I am on the outer circle of the family of the young lady, I have watched her grow from the stories her mother told and the Face Book pictures of family vacations and her accomplishments.
The Bat Mitzvah had no theme, there weren’t fancy decorations, there wasn’t a disc jockey, and it wasn’t a lavish party. The food was simple yet delicious, and the hall was the recreation room in the community where they live.
What there was, was much love, warmth and genuine pride. As I watched Ella read from the Torah, give her speech and receive her parent’s praise of the little girl who now approaches adulthood, I was almost spellbound.
Questions of how to parent. Wondering what to say. Wondering what to do. The answer seemed almost too easy for me: Be the kind of person you want your kids to be. If you want them to be kind, be kind to others. If you want them to be grateful, be grateful yourself.
Kids do not do what their parents say (as my dad believed), they do as they do. They are little sponges. They want to please. They want to be just like you.
Would you really want a mini-you? Think about it, because more likely than not, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.