I have written many texts in my life, but these words that are written, moments before Yom Kippur, are the most important I have ever written. They are important to me and are important to any parent, mother or father who loves their child. On this Yom Kippur I knew I was going to apologize to only two people who are closest to my heart, dearest to me of all – my beloved children.
We are human beings, and human beings can err, err, hurt – in older people. But our children, at any age, are not the punching bag of our problems. In this Yom Kippur I knew, every day I do something that hurts them, and it does not deserve them. I, and every parent (yes, everyone. Thank you) just focus on the wrong thing – every technological distraction that is around.
Dad, Mom, you who are now reading these words, you can chirp as much as you want. To say “I? I do not sin in this”, you can not admit – but deep down it is all of us. Another email from work, another story slide, another Facebook feed slide, another email from work, another WhatsApp message with unimportant content. Yes, it happens to everyone, one way or another. The technological distractions around us overwhelm us, the need to give the most important and most basic thing to our children – attention. It’s not evil, it’s human. to thank.
“Pray for my children not to inherit my scratches, to hug each other, an artist who will always be healthy,” Hanan Ben.Ari wrote and sang in a chilling manner. As I write this column I am listening to this song, which is for me a way of realizing that I am wrong, that I am human and wrong in recent years. It’s chilling. Hanan thanks and also gives me the strength to admit and do something different.
What else did we gain by working in front of the screen? While we could be next to the two.year.old, who grows and grows miraculously in front of my eyes. What did I gain from another minute of responding to Crisis at work, which he could wait for, and in the meantime I could hear an exciting story from my 5.year.old daughter? If I were or were to avoid we would only make a profit.
But it was not just Hanan Ben – Ari’s song that made me understand the problem. My little ones are the ones who made me understand. And no, not because they’re just scolding me for being on my cell phone a lot. These are because when they get up in the morning the first thing they do is come to give Dad a kiss. They are not to blame for closures, they are not to blame for stress at work, they are not to blame for the technological environment that does not give us rest, only we are to blame for it. And we have something to do to change that.
Hanan Ben Ari’s chilling song is the solution to the questions. After the self.blame, he sketches in such an optimistic way and touches on what we should do. So I will finish with it:
Want to be there for them just like I promised
Sit at the end of the day, knowing I was successful
In the meantime, counting small victories, from a bastard I did not run away from
To the bathroom or the computer, I just stopped and listened
For stories about birds
For thoughts, for paintings
For dreams that one day will come true
For heroes, for princesses
With the silent eyes
There are a sea of secrets if you really listen
So take from here those words and the little thing my kids do – I’ll try to be better, get up in the morning – and first go give them a big hug and a kiss. Because they are mine and dear to me. The most in the world.