I’m not sure who suffers more, the parent or the child. After two full years of nursing I’m weaning my daughter. This process of letting go is so difficult. She comes to me to nurse her, but I have begun to say, "No." When I weaned my son I also had a hard time dealing with it. I found myself running away from him or passing him on to his father. It’s so much easier to run away then confront, isn’t it?

Mommy is still here for her Now I have a little more experience and I think maybe I’m a little wiser. Instead of running away from my daughter I hold her close and wrap my arms around her. I kiss her precious face and tell her over and over that I love her as I say no. She cries, but she clings to me and I see as I continue holding onto her and kissing her that the sobbing becomes quieter.

I wonder if she is comforted knowing that as our relationship evolves Mommy is still here for her. Even though it appears that I’m pushing her away my distance or separation is only to help her grow and develop. In fact I feel just as connected and in love with her as when I nurse, if not more. Her crying, while heart-breaking, also comforts me because it shows me that she loves and needs me. I am saying no to her, but at the same time I am telling her, "Mommy is here, I love you and I’m here."

Her birthday was yesterday and I didn’t nurse her the night before. I just held her. When she woke up this morning I was so scared. She came to sit on my lap as I drank my coffee. As crazy as it sounds I was scared that if I didn’t nurse her I wouldn’t know how to comfort her and if I am at a loss as how to comfort her, she won’t love me anymore. She didn’t ask to nurse. She just wanted to sit and be with me. I started to cry as I thought to myself, "She still loves me."

I remember as a child reading a book, Are You There G‑d? It’s Me, Margaret. I can’t remember the details of the story, but the title has never left me. How many of us have asked, "Are you there G‑d? It’s me, So-and-so." "Mommy," my son asks me, "Where is G‑d? In the sky, up there?" "He’s everywhere," I answer him. "So why can’t I see him?" Why can’t I see Him? Good question. Sometimes His presence is obvious and sometimes we have to look harder. But the one who seeks it will find.

Thank G‑d he had been wearing a helmet I walked quickly down the street on my way to class when suddenly I heard a crash and saw a motor scooter driver fly into the air. He did a somersault. I saw his body twist and his head crashed into the pavement. Everyone stopped. Cars screeched to a halt. I put my hand to my mouth in horror. Thank G‑d he had been wearing a helmet. We all watched as the young man picked himself up and cried out to all the spectators, "Nothing happened. Nothing happened." I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Nothing happened? Was this boy crazy? He almost died. "Will you stop for a minute? You almost died!" I wanted to shout out to him as I saw him pick his scooter up and collect all the broken pieces. "Will you at least thank G‑d that you are alive? Do you see how He saved you?"

"Go, go, go." I feel like this is the watchword of the day; "Go, go, go, don’t stop, don’t think, don’t feel. Don’t see and don’t make any connections. Just go throughout your day as though nothing has happened." Once the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Chassidic movement, was sitting with his disciples. He was telling them that a person can learn a lesson in how to better serve the Creator from everything that he hears or sees. At that moment, there was a knock at the door. A handyman asked, "Do you have any broken utensils that need fixing?" The Baal Shem Tov answered, "Thank G‑d everything in my home is in excellent shape. Nothing needs fixing." "Are you sure?" The man persisted. "Check carefully. Maybe after looking though everything, you will notice something that needs to be fixed."

The Baal Shem Tov turned to his disciples. "Of course, this man is talking about pots, pan, and furniture. But from my standpoint he is really a messenger of G‑d, sent to reprove me to remind me that much in my life is not the way it should be. This handyman has made me realize that I must carefully search my actions and life-style and make a reckoning of my spiritual condition."

Could a repairman be a messenger from G‑d? It is also told of Rabbi Leib of Shpoli that he was travelling down a road when a man approached him and asked him for help. "Help me pick up my overturned wagon," he begged. "I’m too weak for this task. I can’t help you," Rabbi Leib.

The man began to shout, "You can help me, but you don’t want to!"

Rabbi Leib stood still as the words penetrated his heart. He understood them in a spiritual light, "Righting the wagon of one’s life is something that one can do-if he only wants to."

G‑d is here and there. He is within us and above us. Every day He sends us messages. The people that we encounter are His messengers and the events that take place are those messages. As we grow and pass through different stages of life, different stages of exile and redemption, like the parent to the child, our relationship changes. At times it appears as though He is pushing us away, like the mother weaning her child. But as He weans, enabling us to grow, He holds us even tighter. "I am here. I love you and I am here," He whispers.