Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why am I Shaving My Head Part II: Explaining It To A Kid

"Hey, I'm only a few hundred dollars away from my goal!"

I said this to E (my 6 year old) a week and a half ago while driving him to the bus stop (yeah, I know. Shaddup). He was impressed by the numbers and the amounts being raised, and it seemed like a teachable moment.

Well, be careful what you wish for.

"Why do you have to shave your head?" My son asked in his saddest, most grumpy and petulant face (my son is the king of petulant).

"Well, I'm doing it to raise money. People are more likely to give for a stunt. And I can show kids with cancer, who lose their hair, that I care about them by looking like them."

"But why?"

Everyone who spends time with kids know that why doesn't mean why (though it leads to hilarious Louis CK routines).

"Are you upset because I'm shaving my head."

"Yeah. Why do you have to do it."

I thought of all the reasons I could give, each one good and logical and thoughtful and even rabbinic. And I looked at him in the rearview mirror, my only child, my precious one whom I love.

And I thought to myself: because I have you. I am blessed with a healthy child, one free of disease (im yirtzah HaShem--God Willing). I am blessed with a child who's greatest concern is keeping track of his Legos. I am blessed with a child who's alive. I don't know the pain of the weeping mother or the angry father.

And I said to him: because it's the least I could do. 

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