The Medrash tells us in Devarim Rabba (Parshas Devarim) that after Paroh decreed that all the baby boys should be killed, the mother’s went to the field to give birth and left their newborns there. According to Rav Chiya HaGadol, Hashem Himself took care of these children until they were old enough to go home. At that time Hashem personally escorted them to their parent’s home and provided them with all the information necessary for them to prove to their parents that they were indeed their children.
After the reunion the mother would ask, “and who raised you?” The child would answer a young man who worked in the field whose beauty is unparalleled. “Please take me out to meet him” the mother would respond. When they went out the “field worker” had disappeared and the ensuing search would not turn him up. Years later when Bnei Yisroel crossed the Yam Suf and Hashem’s Shechina was revealed, these children turned to their mother’s and point and say “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu”, there he is, the one who raised me. Although they all saw the Shechina at the same time, the children recognized Hashem’s presence before the adults since they had known Him in their recent youth.
While it’s true that children do not have a yetzer tov and are strongly controlled by their mundane urges, nevertheless they are closer by nature to the Shechina and the absolute truth than adults are. They are less corrupted and cynical. On one hand they are untamed animals on the other hand their natural inborn goodness is untainted.
Often as parents we see our children doing something from the pure goodness of their hearts. However as adults we know that this attitude does not work in the real world. It is too much and must be tempered or it is totally futile in our opinion and they will only regret it later. Although our job is to teach our children how to live in the real world, we should not quash every ounce of their goodness along the way.
What do you do if your kid wants to give his money to a tzedoka you are cynical about but it means a lot to the child? How about if they spend too much time helping out people you think are not worthy and just using him? What if you think he is too young to spend so much time learning and you are worried he is not playing enough? All these and much are what we call good problems. Don’t blow it. Guide them gently without rubbing your cynicism onto them. Don’t shoot them down while they are up there. Let them experience the heavens. But don’t stand by idly waiting for the crash landing either. As they ride high on the clouds, stand below and prepare pillows to help them have a soft landing into a far from perfect world.
All that is easier said than done. But here is something really easy and very worthwhile. Learn something from your kids!!! There is not a kid in the world that does not have a redeeming raw quality that can make you jealous. Watch them in amazement and admire their innocence. Applaud their purity. After all this was you many years ago. Ask yourself what happened to you, along the way from there to here. Should we turn back the bitterness and the years and act more like a pure child than an adult? Remember that the lessons they learned straight from Hashem are fresher than yours. They may be on to something. Split the sea and cross back to the other side. Enjoy the lessons our children teach us. Listen closely and hear them sing “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu.”