Friday, December 23, 2011

Proud Parent Moment

Tonight, the fourth night of Hanukkah, Sarah blew my mind.  

We were getting ready to light the electric menorah candles for the holiday and Daniel and I heard her whispering under her breath the first Hebrew prayer for the lighting. 

At first, we thought maybe she was just making up words. But, then as we listened more closely to her, she was actually saying it. Sarah started with the first few words and we thought that would be it. Then, she proceeded to recite the entire verse word for word.

She said the prayer, which phonetically is Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam asher kideshanu b'mitzvotav, vitzivanu lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Daniel and I stood there listening to Sarah with our jaws dropped and excitement in our eyes. I was jumping up and down too and we were applauding her for this amazing feat.  I don't think Sarah even realized how awesome this accomplishment was.  What's even more incredible about this is that Daniel and I have not sat down with her to go through the prayer word for word because she's only nearly four years old.

As we continued to light our additional menorahs, the next one with actual candles and flames, and another two, pretend menorahs, one with Velcro-backed candles and one with rubber candles, it occurred to me that Sarah learned the prayer by repetition. With this many menorahs, we were saying the blessing at least four times each night for the first half of the holiday. Sarah actually caught on to what Daniel and I were reciting each time we lit, and pretend lit, the candles together.

It just proves that children do learn by example and repetition.  And, while I know that Sarah is a sponge and processes her information very quickly this experience with her tonight was an incredibly proud moment watching my little girl growing up.

Of course, for a moment, I thought, what it will be like when she's 12 years old and receiving her Bat Mitzvah and the feeling of being a proud parent and one of Sarah's biggest fans.

Children do learn by osmosis. It's important for us as parents to communicate with our children directly and use proper adult language and vocabulary, whether it be English, Hebrew, ASL, or any other language. Children do learn by watching and listening to us and we are their models for learning.

This proud moment has been brought to you by Mommy's Point of View. 

And, because I often feel that Haiku is an excellent way to sum up what I am thinking and feeling into as few words as possible here are a few poems to showcase this wonderful experience.

She recited prayer
For menorah candle lights
Four-year-old shines bright

Proud parent moment
Our child spoke Hebrew
For menorah lights

Awesome Hanukkah
Sarah owned the Hebrew prayer
Speaking easily

Children surprise us
When you least expect them to
Proud parent moments

What's a proud parenting moment you have experienced recently?  

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