17 Sivan 5779 / Thursday, June 20, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
 
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The Emuna Ambulance



Suddenly, I heard the scream of my little two-year old. Someone yelled, "The door, the door!" I opened it up and then saw. His finger had nearly been severed…

 



My son’s bone was sticking out. His top thumb laid hanging by a thin piece of skin. It was Shabbat morning and within moments the ambulance arrived.

 

Moments before I was enjoying a beautiful Shabbat morning in Jerusalem. My children played while I tried to get some learning in. I had The Garden of Emuna for Young People opened to the beginning chapter which discusses that everything is for the best.

 

We went to a nearby synagogue for the kids to see the Torah. Upon leaving, I used the restroom. But I messed up big time. Without looking behind I closed the bathroom door. Then I heard the scream of my little two year old. Someone yelled, the door, the door! I opened it up and then saw. His finger had nearly been severed and blood was rushing out.

 

Within moments I was surrounded by people offering help. I held on to his finger to keep it intact and he was very scared. I was a 5 minute walk from home, without a cell phone and my other year old girl needed to be taken home. The ambulance arrived. As I laid on the stretcher with my son on my chest, I thought how could this terrifying moment be for the best?

 

Up until this time in my son’s life, we had an unusual connection. Meaning we were close but distant at the same time. We never quite clicked. I attribute this to our decision by putting him in a day care too early on in his life instead of waiting longer for our attachment to be at its best.

 

We would bring him to the day care center and he would completely turn cold. All of his emotions would turn off. He had learned not to cry even though he wanted to when we dropped him off. Day after day, this went on for months; we thought as new parents, that’s just the way it is! We thought, “He’ll get used to it.” For hours and hours a day he would be in the day care with all of the other children. His attachment to me was weak and he never liked the day care. Our little boy was immensely frustrated. Every evening was met with aggression, sibling fighting and other cold behavior. I was seriously confused as to what to do.

 

At the emergency room my boy was on my lap and my knee couldn’t stop jumping uncontrollably. While the surgeon examined him, thoughts crossed my mind that maybe he would lose his thumb. At the same time throughout all this pain and trauma we both became immensely close in ways we never were before.

 

He had to have surgery on Shabbat to reattach his thumb. The anesthesia required him to have an empty stomach for 6 hours. He had just finished a huge piece of cake before the incident. This left me holding him close for five hours on a chair while we waited for the green light to begin the operation. Most of the time he slept due to the emotional exhaustion and pain he went through. That gave me a lot of time to think.

 

I started to go through the Emuna principles: 1) Everything is from God. 2) Everything is for the best. 3) There is a reason for everything.

 

I decided that from that moment things would be different. Whenever I could I spent quality time with him. I’d pick him up no matter what I was doing, take him for walks and even take him later to day care than usual just to spend some extra moments together. On the same note I’d pick him up early to increase our time together. This rebuilt our entire connection.

 

We went to the park every morning and had breakfast together. We played and explored the forest. He started sharing more loving emotions with us. His violent outbursts subsided and he became the happiest kid in school. My wife and I attribute this to our new dedicated way of making our lives closer with our kids even if it means “losing out” on our never ending to-do list. I came to realize that you can’t have time if you don’t take time.

 

Lessons I want to share:

 

Strengthening the bond together between child and parent makes the transition to day care much easier. Solidify your attachment with joy.

 

Pick them up early from day care instead of last minute. The extra time you spend together allows for a deeper connection to grow.

 

Find a moment each day to solidify your attachment with your child. (For example: read a book together, take them with you on your errands, plan a day trip together.)

 

Pray for your child’s success daily (I suggest 10 minutes - you will see miracles!)

 

Indulge your child with attention, interest, love and enthusiasm; be attentive.

 

When I look back, its painful to recall that summer morning. But had that not have happened, I would have kept going with the flow and accepted that there was nothing to do about the situation. Seeing my child in a place of vulnerability put me in a position to make a change that would improve his life. If you sense something askew with your baby or toddler at day care, try following my tips above. Give it a few weeks and feel the change!

 

My heartfelt blessing for your greatest success in building an Emuna attachment family!





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