For the first time in my now one and a half years of motherhood, I went clothes shopping for my son. Our parents and families have been so generous that there was no need to go before. They thought and bought us everything from socks to hats, pants to shirts, long-underwear to mittens. But he needed new shoes for his fast growing feet and shirts for the winter.

I set out for my shopping mission excited. As I arrived at the store I walked up to a salesperson and held out my son, "I need shirts for him. Point me in the right direction." A half an hour later I walked out of the store with a huge shopping bag, having bought my son a shirt in nearly every color. I felt so much joy and nachas (pride) as we made our way home, the big shopping bag dangling from his carriage and his feet sporting “only the best” boots that the store had to offer.

Today I sat watching him play with the children of our apartment building. I felt like I was bursting with joy as he screamed in delight running with them as he wore his new boots from one side of the play area to the other. They were playing with a hanging sheet, running into to it, under it, around it. I was so happy to see him happy and so pleased for him that we lived in this children-filled building.

As a parent, all you want to do is give to your child and make him happy. My days are consumed with entertaining him, feeding him, praying for him. My nights are filled comforting him, breast-feeding him, worrying over him. He is the so often a topic of conversation, and my husband and I are crazy about him.

All this has led me to understand what the test of Avraham really was when G‑d told him to sacrifice his son.

A parent wants only good for their child and they want only good from their child. You become so engrossed in doing things for them, saving for them, working hard for them; and as you fantasize about the greatness that you want them to become, you begin to forget about yourself and the greatness that you need to work on becoming.

When G‑d told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, it was as though He was telling him that all the joy and pleasure that he derives from his son, and all the expectations that he has for him, are useless-if he himself isn’t constantly working on himself, on Abraham.

It’s much easier for a person to sacrifice himself then to sacrifice his son. It’s much easier to put everything into your child, than it is to also put it into yourself and your own self-improvement. Abraham, who loved his son and had waited a hundred years for him, was willing to sacrifice his son for his son-to teach him and send him the message, to send us all the message, that we can’t live for our children, or through our children, but only as examples to our children. If you want your child to be great, you must strive to be great.