There are some fascinating prayers that we say at a baby boy's brit milah (ritual circumcision ceremony), a mitzvah that is highlighted in this week's Torah reading.
Child rearing, it turns out, is a relatively short-term project. The truth is that we don't have them for very long. Eighteen years, that's all. Eighteen years, from birth until they move away to Stanford. If your child is 5, you've got 13 years left. If your child is 8, you've got 10 years. If your child is 11,you've got only seven years -- just a few years to put them to bed with a story and a song, to make them breakfast, to stick artwork upon the fridge.