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Chalkboard of Life

Chalkboard of Life

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When I was in second grade, I remember my teacher assigning classroom tasks to keep our class organized, clean and functioning well, giving the students a chance to be responsible.

My favorite task was erasing the chalkboards.

I’m not sure why, but I would imagine it had something to do with the gratifying feeling of perfectly aligning each swipe of the chalkboard eraser, creating clean, smooth lines. I remember trying to limit the dust which automatically filtered into the classroom air in light puffs of white powder—the remnants of the day’s work. It very much resonates with me todayI think I found comfort in knowing the following day would start anew, with fresh handwriting on the chalkboard, giving us insight into all subjects of life.

Many years later, as a mother of a special little boy, I think about this childhood experience, and I realize that it very much resonates with me today.

The chalkboard of life.

Our days are filled with challenge, emotions and milestones. Laughter, tears, frustration, hopes and dreams.

Our chalkboards are decorated with sensitive subjects, with detailed questions and answers to explore, with script that on some days may be entirely illegible. Illegible because sometimes there is no time to pause, no time to take that breath. And we must keep on writing, keep on advocating, keep on believing.

But then, something beautiful occurs. For me, it is at the end of the day, when I sit in my children’s room and say the Shema prayer with them. It is my tool, my eraser, that gently wipes clean that day’s chalkboard. It is the very personal task of I try to limit the dusterasing the day’s hardships and choosing to keep all that inspired me, all that changed me and all that helped us grow together as a family.

As I smooth out the lines, I try to limit the dust, the remaining puffs of heartache, longing, and often personal failures of the mother I strive to be. I take a minute to stand back, looking at my chalkboard, looking at my peaceful, sleeping children. And I smile.

Not because I love the task of erasing my chalkboard, but because when I awake in the morning, I will start fresh. With new chalk. With new dreams.

My very own chalkboard of life, in my very own school of thought. Filled with subjects of all kinds, and dreams of every nature.


Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.
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Jose Clearwater, FL March 25, 2014

Response Beautiful! Reply

Simone Rousseau Sydney, Australia March 25, 2014

Special needs child I also have a special needs child and accept the fact that Hashem has given me this child for a reason- to learn from - not why me? We are thrown many curve balls in our life and there are some we can control and others we cant. Remember the saying, ours is not to question why, ours is just to do or die,! it is very frustrating on a daily basis living with issues that challenge us to the core! however on the flip side, i a seemingly perfect life sometimes is perfect from the outer - what resonates is perfect from the inner - learning the chabad way has creatively taught me to deal with everything in life - adverse and not. Our task as jews is to keep on keeping on - action - doing mitzvot - for ourselves - and for others - there are always those worse off - sometimes this puts life in real perspective! sometimes we need to view our lives through a real lens and not what society puts on us to be 'a nice life' may Hashem give us all the strength to cope with our tszorus !!! Reply

Anonymous March 24, 2014

Discussion 21 March 2014 To Anonymous Dad,

If there is one thing I found that is important through this experience , it to never stop searching for the light.

I learned through this that spiritual growth is not a luxury but a must , unlike the environment in which I grew up had taught me. A healthy spirituality has a ripple effect , affecting one's child's well-being and progress too, as well as the home environment. It also helps us to maintain a sense of equanimity even on days we feel that despair.

I don't know the big answers but through the spiritual quest , I hope I will be prepared to face the future with my husband and child. Reply

Anonymous March 21, 2014

I am a father of a special needs child. When we found out it and got an official diagnosis, it made me question everything. I wasn't raised religious by any means, but I learned and started following on my own. When my son was diagnosed, it made me question everything, including G-d. I went through these stages for few years. I went on a road of self destruction and only managed to get a grip few months ago. My son is 6 now and I still can't manage to find positive things when I think about his future. How do you do it? How do you keep seeing the light? Reply

Chana Scop March 17, 2014

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts. I too look forward to more posts on various topics, especially those with regard to including our 'special' children.
I feel like our Chaim Boruch has truly taught us the deeper meaning of Torah observance...for he sees things that we do not and he feels things that we can only dream of feeling.
I feel like it's an honor to be able to try tap into his sweet, pure world.
All the best, Reply

Anonymous March 16, 2014

chalkboard of life Thank you Mrs. Scop for opening your world to us .
Erasing the hardship and keeping what inspired one during the day - I liked this principle very much. Otherwise it is too easy to be filled with self defeating thoughts at the end of the day as parents of special needs children.
I also wondered for quite a while how observant Jews managed to include their special children in their religious life which is really all aspects of life, so
I shall look forward to following your Blog.
Thank you to Chabad.Org also for your compassionate and inclusive approach. Reply

Chana Scop shares her experiences parenting a child with special needs.
Chana ScopChana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. She also writes about a mother’s journey of raising a special-needs son on her other blog, Life of Blessing. She welcomes you to be a part of her creative and touching journey.