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I Missed the Signs

I Missed the Signs

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My dearest Chaim Boruch.

I am very sorry.

I really am.

More than you’ll ever understand.

And more than you’ll ever know.

I didn’t fit the puzzle pieces together.

Yet I’m sure you had each one fitting perfectly in yourYou came home with scratches on your ear beautiful pure mind.

You came home with scratches on your ear, open wounds of some sort.

I wondered if you had pulled on your ear while sitting on your bus ride home.

I pondered and concluded that your scrapes were just part of a busy day of playing hard.

The following day, however, I grew somewhat anxious as the scratches formed, were new and fresh and did not tell the signs of time and healing.

I glanced at Tatty, and we shared a look of worry and concern.

Could someone be hurting you on the school bus?

You were put on your bus that next afternoon, and your teacher saw a young child reach out for your ears as you took your seat in the adjacent row.

The puzzle pieces became clear, and adjustments were made right then and there.

And with a new understanding, I retraced my steps in my head.

I recalled that for two nights you signed “no” with a nod of your head, while signing “bus” with your hand.

I thought you were asking me if there was possibly no school the next day, as you often did in anticipation of the arrival of Shabbat, and so I answered you, that indeed there was school, and how much fun you will have.

I did not understand your signs.

I did not realize you were telling me that you didn't want to go on your little yellow school bus.

I did not gather your hurt feelings, your apprehension, your anxiety.

That night I lay in bed and saw the dark sky and stars out my window.

And my heart lay deep inside me, broken into pieces.

My tears were salty and warm.

I let you down.

What more could a mother thrive on than knowing their child’s dreams, goals, fears and worries?

How did I not hear your unspoken words? How did I fail in picking up your puzzle pieces?

How can I be your best mother if I miss the signs?

How can I fall asleep with an ache that pummels through my entire being?

Good night, my precious one.

May your dreams be sweet and full of light, and may you neverHow can I be your mother if I miss the signs? feel scared or worried without having the gift to share those feelings with me.

The gift of showing me the signs.

And the gift of understanding them.

And then I turned to G‑d, my Father in Heaven

with the very same salty tears shed by the heartache of a mother,

I instantly became the child, and I begged Him to grant me the gift of clarity and vision.

So I, too, may see His infinite signs, HIs direction, His winks from above.

And with a prayer on my lips, wet by the tears of the depth of my soul.

I say good night to G‑d, who neither sleeps nor slumbers,

Who is forever understanding of unspoken words and the puzzle pieces of our lives.


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.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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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.