This has been some week! And the final thought I have from it all is: How is it possible that I am supposed to go to work? (And I side thought: How do mothers with more than four children – or even one for that matter – do it?!)
This has been a week of constant movement. Hours on the phone with schools, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, camps, what else?
Sunday started off pretty good. Except for the getting stuck in traffic part and being late for my pedicure, it was a relaxing, day-for-me. I decided to try a pedicure at the Plaza hotel. Thanks to my sister-in-law’s mother, I have finally found a decent manicurist (oh, how I miss my $10 Asian manicures in Boston.) I thought, since I can get a good manicure, why not try a pedicure? To my surprise the pedicurist was a 60-something-year-old crotchety grandmother, who yelled at me for being late! And then when I asked for polish, she practically threw the basket of colors at me. I think I’ll stick to giving myself a pedicure from now on…
After a pretty coat of soft pink polish, I found my way into a quaint used children’s book store on Derech Beit Lechem (a busy street in the Jerusalem area.) I had seen an ad for this shop in a magazine and thought I should check it out. It wasn’t so much the bookstore part that intrigued me, as was the blurb, “Collage hours for women and children,” that peaked my interest. It turns out this little hole in the wall is indeed a used bookstore, although the prices aren’t like used books in the states, I did buy a couple sweet books for Ely.
When I asked the owner about the collaging, he led me down a narrow steep staircase into the basement. It was like a child walking into a candy store! A small little room full of collage materials, along with boxes, frames, and the like, to collage. What an idea! And although I was really excited to find a place like this, it made me a little frustrated. The owner's wife is an art therapist and it was her idea. How come some people can figure out how to put this kind of stuff together, the idea and the doing? And others, like me, can’t seem to get the ideas moving anywhere? (oh- maybe it’s because I’m so busy taking care of my family!!?!)
From there, and feeling a little down, I went to meet my good friend Chayyei Sarah
for a late breakfast/early lunch. I always feel better when a good friend puts things in perspective. We met at Café Hillel on Emek Refaim, a trendy Georgetown-esque street in Jerusalem. This is the same café that was terrorist targeted over a year ago when Dr. Applebaum and his daughter, Nava
, were killed the night before her wedding. Although I didn’t say anything to Sarah, it was an eerie feeling being in there.
It was, though, really great to catch up, and it was the only get-together with a friend all week. I am still appreciating it.
The rest of my week, although I can’t say it went downhill, because nothing really went wrong, was crazy. Crazier at least than I am used to.
I flitted between the different needs of DB, NED and ELY, leaving MB to cry to me Tuesday night that I’m always so busy and she can never talk to me. MB admitted that she was having trouble in school, but didn’t want to ask for help. She didn’t want to be different than everyone else, but was really struggling. I reminded her that she was an olah chadasha (new immigrant) and it was okay to need and ask for help. I told her how proud I was of how hard she was working, and I was never too busy to listen when she needed to talk. I hope she believed me!
DB needed help with school – getting tutors set up for himself, and motivation to study. I also had to take care of a hospital bill from last summer when he fell and cut open his knee. I was getting these bills in Hebrew that I didn’t know what to do with.
I now have good friends at the new kupat cholim (insurance) office in Kiryat Sefer (a neighborhood/small city up the road). Until now, I have gone to Modiin, where there was always a long wait and the clerks there make you feel as if they were doing YOU a favor. Our yishuv is too small to have any large offices so we travel 5-10 minutes either way on the entrance road to an office. My new friends in Kiryat Sefer are pleasant to deal with and very helpful. My kind of service!
NED has a contagious rash she has been uncomfortably living with for over a month, so I have been dealing with that.
ELY has to have tubes taken out of her ears that have been in since before we made aliyah. This is the first time we will not be using the wonderful ENT doc from Lawrence, Massachusetts, that took care of all the rest of our kids. Needless to say, it’s different system here. And because of Ari’s family history of malignant hypothermia (a genetic condition that causes complications with anesthesia), this otherwise simple procedure has become a little more complicated to navigate in a new health insurance system.
I must admit, that although it has meant a lot of running around and speaking to different secretaries and doctors (in Hebrew, I might add!), everyone has been very patient and helpful.
It has certainly been an aliyah experience. And when I flopped down in my chair at ulpan on Wednesday night, my teacher reminded me that I am still an olah chadasha, and it will take time.
As a quick side note, if I might gloat for a minute, I had to tell a 2-minute story about anything I wanted in ulpan Wednesday night. The teacher has us take turns doing this in order to get used to speaking in public. I spoke about how Ari and I signed a contract to buy a piece of land in Israel on our 17th engagement anniversary. I used hebrew words I had never used before, and stumbled over a couple pronunciations. When I was done, my teacher complimented me on how well I spoke, how I used my verbs and prepositions properly, and that I should be very proud of myself.
Ya know, when you spend all day trying to pump up your kids, reminding them that they are olim, and how proud they should be of themselves, it’s really really
nice to have another adult, whom you respect and admire, say the same thing to you. The encouragement is what keeps me going and I love my ulpan teacher!
OK, If you have gotten this far in my week’s ramblings, I must admit that even though it was a tough week for me, especially because Ari was away, the best part was that this time Ari brought with him a computer and icamera. Almost every morning – his time – whether he was in a hotel or in someone’s home, I was able to see and speak to my husband. I appreciate modern technology and am thankful Ari thought to take the camera with him. It made his being away a lot easier!
I’m staying home with the kids for Shabbat. We will eat our meals with wonderful neighbors and friends. I just couldn’t go anywhere. I needed to be in my own bed – even if I was alone.
Although I will miss my husband, I look forward to the peacefulness and quiet of Shabbat with my children.
I am thankful and I am blessed!