But before I begin, I want to comment on a couple comments left for me in my comment section. (Is that too many comments?)
To Babe, I want to say that BB said it for me. A very wise woman taught me when I became a parent that when a child asks a difficult or sensitive question; only give them an answer they can understand. Don’t give them more than what they are asking for. I have a couple great “birds and the bees” books for kids and as my kids have gotten older, we have read them together. But a 5 year old can only handle so much. She knows Mommy and Abba love each other (because Ari is always telling the children how much he loves me), and I prefer to use the opportunity to teach her about Hashem’s involvement in our lives. And like BB said, there is a time and a place for everything.
Thanks BB! BB to the rescue again.
To Ed, you don’t give yourself enough credit. DB looks forward to your arrival in the Holy Land next year and having another big brother around!
And to Louis, I will email you directly, but I want you to know that I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend aliyah to families with teenagers. It’s just SO HARD! There are so many variables that even if we have the greatest kids, which I think Ari and I do (pu pu pu), it is sooo risky! If you have a good thing going on there - don't mess with it!!
OK - What a day!
Started with the flood in our basement. Not just a puddle anymore. I sweated my way through wringing out towels, cursing the builders of this house, and “sponga-ing” the entire floor. The water ran from one room to the other, soaking our area rug and several cardboard boxes we hadn’t yet unpacked.
The air always gets tense between Ari and I when stuff like this happens. I have my way of cleaning up and taking care of things, and he has his – basically, he doesn’t. He makes himself breakfast and reads his email. (I exaggerate, of course. He helped pull wet stuff off the floor.)
By the time it was cleaned up (mostly), I had to take another shower. Grumble Grumble Grumble!
That was all before 12.
At 12:15 I drove to pick up DB to take him to Jerusalem for an appointment with a therapist. I mistakenly thought DB was going in on his own, but when I got there, I was invited into the room (I had to find parking first, no easy feat in the heart of Jerusalem!)
Before the appointment, I told DB that we were going to speak to someone to try to help him figure out his confusion about school. He was okay with it. He only asked, “How do you know if this guy is any good?” Great question, so I checked him out.
In a nutshell, DB does not want to be in this Yeshiva. He had to go back to 9th grade and he does not want to be there either. He feels that he doesn’t fit in and feels frustrated. The question is what do we do about it? That part isn’t so simple. Ari and I will meet with the therapist next week. In the meantime, DB was given the homework to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of his school. And he was given chizzuk (encouragement) to make the best of everyday. We left with DB feeling that this therapist understood him and hopes he can help him more. yay!
DB and I had a very nice talk on the way back to school. I asked him, “What is so bad about being frum?”
Labels are so confusing – especially at this age!
He answered, “I don’t want to be charedi. You can’t do stuff. Fun stuff, like watch movies.”
See, my difficulty with all this is that I didn’t get this all confused – or straightened out - in my head until I was at least 30. He’s so much wiser than I was at 15!! I’m 38 (and a half) and still haven’t figured it all out!
I dropped him off at school and went to meet with the school counselor, who was very nice, understanding and helpful. I informed him of DB’s learning difficulties (thanks Dana for the testing years ago!) and he was very happy to have received this info.
The one thing that upset me the most was that again the counselor told me that the teachers see that DB is not socializing. That he stays to himself. WHY? Why is this great kid staying to himself or hanging with the wrong kids? I just don’t get it. Anyone who knows DB knows him to be such a great kid. It just makes no sense. sigh.
I left his office completely spent and upset that Ari hadn’t been with me. Carrying all this alone is just too much!
I came home and left again with NED to do my shopping for Shabbat. On our way home she hit me with:
“Imma, can I ask you a question, and please don’t get mad at me for asking it. I’m not saying I do, but what would you say if I told you I had a boyfriend?”
I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS!!!
I simply told her that she was too young and that if she wants to have boys as friends and hang out in groups, I would not LOVE it, but I would prefer it that way. I explained to her what dogs guys are and that only girls understand girls J
Then she asked me what she should say if she was hanging out with her friends and a boy asks her to be his girlfriend.
I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS!!!
I told her that she should politely tell him that she is not old enough and that she is not ready. (Ari says she should tell him to call her back in 15 years!)
We talked a little bit more about how friend’s influence us (I had to explain the word first!) and why it’s so important to surround ourselves with the right people.
I came home and gave Ely the biggest hug! I don’t want her to grow up. I love her innocence (in fact she patted my belly and asked, “Did Hashem put the baby in there yet?”)
So that was my day. I am emotionally spent. Now I have to focus on preparing for Shabbat. Distraction for now.
What will unfold? What will happen next?
No one told me having kids was going to lead to this!!
G-d give me strength!!