Rina was into eating healthy, and exercising, and looking your best, so when her teenage daughter started to tip the scales, she noticed fast, and started to worry. The first thing she started to worry about (like pretty much every mother I know…) is that she, Rina, must have done something wrong for this to happen.
Mentally, she started replaying all the times she'd 'let' Tamar eat the wrong things, or given her money for sweets, or picked her up in the car after school, instead of letting her get soaked walking home.
"I've taught her bad habits!" she started berating herself.
"I've been too easy-going about the food! I've been lazy - I should have found healthy stuff that Tamar also really liked, instead of letting her have her cheese toasties!"
Luckily, Rina's husband had a healthier perspective on the whole food / parenting thing, and told his wife:
"You haven't done anything wrong. It's just a stage, a normal stage. Tamar will grow out of it. If you make a fuss now, you'll only make things worse."
Of course, he was right. (Don't you hate when the husbands are right?)
So Rina calmed down, and let the food thing go for a couple of years.
The weight thing aside, Tamar continued to develop into a beautiful Jewish girl in every way possible, Baruch Hashem.
Then, Tamar hit a period of severe exam stress, and 'a little bit chubby' turned into 'really quite chubby'. Rina freaked out.
"It's all my fault!" she started beating herself up. "I didn't give her enough love! I'm not helping her to manage her stress! I'm not teaching her to trust G-d! It's because I went back to work when she was still nursing…"
Don't you just love all the guilt-trips the yetzer hara tries to put on us mothers?
The strange thing was, that Tamar actually wasn't eating any more, or any worse, than her peers. She was exercising regularly. She was walking all over the place. It was just some strange quirk of fate (read: G-d) that she seemed to be gaining weight.
Rina started praying on it, asking G-d to help her daughter feel happier, and to slim down, and to fix all the emotional damage that she, Rina, must have done to cause this problem.
A couple of months' passed, and Tamar was as beautiful, and as chubby, as ever. Rina was on the edge of despair. Why weren't her prayers being answered? Why wasn't G-d showing her how to help her daughter?
Yet again, Rina's husband came to rescue.
Rina was pouring her heart out to him one night, again beating herself up, blaming herself, and planning a complete healthy food overhaul for the house that this time was going to be strictly enforced!!!
Her husband chose his moment, and then courageously told his wife something that amazed her: "G-d is making Tamar chubby. I'm not worried about it all; and I even think it's a good thing."
WHAAATTTT? What was the man talking about? The husband calmly continued to explain what was really going on:
"Tamar is a beautiful girl, with a great personality. If she wasn't a bit chubby right now, she'd be attracting all sorts of male attention on the street, and that would be the worst thing in the world. When she's ready to get married, the weight will take care of itself. And in the meantime, you can stop stressing over her, and blaming yourself all the time."
The man deserved a medal for bravery.
And not only that, he was right! Rina thought it over, and realized that as usual, G-d knew exactly what He was doing. Tamar needed to be chubby right now, and it was actually a huge Divine kindness, not a problem.
Rina bought herself a big bar of expensive bittersweet chocolate to celebrate the fact that she wouldn't have to force her daughter to only drink green smoothies from now on, and felt so much better.
The moral of the story is: occasionally, husbands can be right.