Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The 21,000th hit question

I'm off to a crazy Wednesday and Thursday whirlwind -

But first here's a question 'til I get back...

What do you miss most from your childhood?

Have a good one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Will there be toys to play with there?

Every night as part of her bedtime ritual, Ely thanks G-d for her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends – and mentions most of them by name.

Somehow last night, this led her to ask the question: “Imma, are you going to die?”

She has been alluding to this for sometime now, but hasn’t quite come straight out and asked it.

I didn’t want to promise her that I wouldn’t die, so I said I would do my best to live a long time. But, I explained to her, everyone dies and that’s why we have to live everyday with good things – doing mitzvot (good deeds and G-d’s commandments), being nice to our family and friends, and trying to be healthy.

“Is there food where you go when you die? And toys, are there toys to play with when you get there?”

She has been obsessed with asking over and over again whether or not she will die or I will die.

“I don’t want to die and be there alone.”

Pretty deep questions for a 6 year old.

Thank G-d she can ask them, and I am here to try to answer them.

What would have you answered her?

Update and response…

So the update on MB’s little “party” is this:

I asked MB on Sunday: You want to tell me what happened last night?

MB: Yeah, I invited a couple of my (girl) friends over to watch a movie and since everyone talks to each other, I guess the boys thought they could come too. You know how I am, I can’t say no.

Me: Uh, MB, you need to be able to say no, especially to guys when they are doing something you know is wrong.

MB: I know, but I can’t.

I offered to do a role play with her, she declined. I impressed upon her VERY STRONGLY how important it was for her to be able to say no. She should have just told the boys she wasn’t allowed to have boys in the house when her parents weren’t home. Finished.

And as for the 10 o’clock curfew, she “thought” it was only for her to be home at 10. Not that everyone had to be out of the house.

Rules are now crystal clear. And she made her own consequence: No talking to friends on IM for the week. Seemed fair enough for me.

Thankfully she’s a reasonable and honest kid. She wants to do the right thing…

Now for my response or P.S. to the post about brother Matt.

As I anticipated, I received several comments, although only one posted. I appreciate the phone calls and personal emails. Most especially I am thankful for furthering my thought process on this matter.

In short, I am in conflict. Not so much against my brother, but more within myself. I am still on the spiritual and religious search I began 25 years ago. Brother Matt just seems to be the catalyst for this search. Whether or not he accepts me unconditionally is not as hard for me to accept as is the acceptance of myself and where I am in my journey.

When I was becoming religious 25 years ago, I began learning how to balance everything in my life until then – my connection to G-d and acceptance of Torah and mitzvot, my love and connection to my extended family, my distancing myself from my secular life and friends, and my understanding and acceptance of who I wanted to be.

This last piece seems to be still happening-

Making, or being at peace with where I am spiritually and religiously today.

I continue to find clarity for myself.

Idealistically, I thought moving to Israel would be the answer.

Realistically, it is not!

I have been and will always be a searcher for truth...


Sunday, January 22, 2006

I need to write…

But it’s hard to know about what.

I haven’t written in my journal in months. There is so much going on that I can’t even begin to put it down into words. I love my writing space, except for when I’m feeling stuck in my writing.

Just write…

Went out with Brother Matt tonight. We have been planning a “date” night for months and just haven’t gotten together. I had so much I wanted to say to him and hear from him. Since we started talking about getting together, so much has happened in both our lives.

I wanted to tell him how hard it was to spend time with him and that it wasn’t entirely his fault. I wanted to tell him that I wished we could be closer. I wanted to tell him that I felt inferior when I was around him. I wanted to tell him that I was embarrassed of my lifestyle around him. I wanted to tell him I felt judged and not unconditionally accepted by him. I felt disconnected as his sibling and I didn’t like it.

Thank G-d, I feel very close with my two older brothers. Little brother Matt left home to live in a dormitory when he was 13 and I was 15. Since then, we haven’t lived under the same roof for more than a few days at a time. He has lived here in Israel for almost 15 years. He has 7 children and is very involved in his Torah life in the yeshiva and in his community. I am very proud of him. I don’t really blame him for not feeling so connected to family. He learned not to need it.

And now he is considering taking a job in another country. Moving away from family again. And it’s not so hard for him. For his kids, yes. But for him, not so hard.

We talked lovingly and openly.

He’s very easy going. He listens, but doesn’t argue back.

I’m very lucky. I have three wonderful brothers who love and care about me.

I know my big brothers except me unconditionally. I’m not sure Brother Matt does. I told him how I felt, he didn’t disagree.

Parts of this makes me sad.

Why do I feel so sad about not feeling accepted by my little brother?

That’s my rambling for tonight.

To my surprise...

NED called while I was out with brother Matt tonight.

She wanted to know when I was going to be home.

It was 11:00 PM.

There was alot of noise in the back ground.

Me: Where are you?

NED: At home. I just got home 5 minutes ago.

ME: Who's there?

NED: MB's friends.

Me: Who?

NED: Batsheva and Tzofia and Sammy and Ayal

ME: Put MB on the phone!

MB: Hi Imma

ME: MB, It is 11 o'clock. I want your friends out of there in five minutes, we will talk about this when I get home. I am disappointed.

MB: OK, but...

Me: I will call back in 5 minutes and I want your friends gone.

Broken rule #1:

Boys are not allowed in the house when parents are not home.

Broken rule #2:

Curfew in our house on a school night is 10 o'clock.

By the time I got home, both girls were asleep.

I will deal with this one in the morning.

I know they are good kids, but rules are rules...

I'll let you know what happens.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I did what I said I wouldn't...

Today I walked from room to room in the new house and told the electrician where to put light switches, lights, and outlets.

I know I will care in the long run and I know I shouldn't be complaining. "There are people who can only dream of building a home in Eretz Yisroel!" blah blah blah.

But I wish someone else (namely my husband) would do this and just let me know when it's time to move in!

This is way too time consuming...

On a different note -

Happy 43rd to BB#2!

Had a nice chat with BB#1 tonight. We made our reservations to go to the States for Passover. Family dynamics - it's never simple. Looking forward to quality time...

NED visited an art school today. She didn't like it, but I would have loved a school like this when I was in high school!

MB is complaining about her back pain alot. I wonder if it has anything to do with the 80's and 90's she keeps telling me she's getting in school.

DB doesn't understand why I won't let him go out every night to hang with his friends. Why doesn't he want to just hang with me?!

Ely has the most swollen tonsils I have ever seen. Don't know how she breathes.

And Ari is driving around Ohio somewhere.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Thinking of what to write


What would you like to know?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Late night chats

Is 12:17 AM an unfair time for me to tell my 16 year old to get off the phone and go to sleep?

Just wondering?!

P.S. No, I do not know who he is talking to...

Oy! Another week...

How come that keeps happening?

Wanna hear my week in review? I'm gonna tell you anyhow--

I last wrote on Monday night.

Tuesday I spent 2 and 1/2 hours with the kitchen design lady. We almost got it finished...

Wednesday I started a psychodrama mini-course. Fun to be experiential for myself again. Powerful stuff that psychodrama, afraid to even go too far...
I saw two individual clients and one couple. OY!

Thursday was live supervision and staff meeting - learned alot. One more couple session. Sometimes I wonder about people...

Then picked up Mom at Brother Matt's and took her to the kitchen lady. We finished designing her kitchen.

Shopping, cooking, getting ready for Shabbat.

Had a minor "breakdown" on Friday when I was still cooking 5 minutes before candle lighting and hadn't yet showered.

Got over it though and enjoyed a relaxing Shabbat with my Mom and Dad and four seminary girls.

Saturday night cousin Diana and the triplets came by as did Brother Matt and family.

Sunday was rainy, but went shopping anyhow with Mom. Tried to pick out granite, but it started pouring and I wanted to be home and dry!

Today's Monday. Went to Mr. Weiner's 83rd/2nd Bar Mitzvah party. Then over to Yemin Moshe to meet a woman who works with street kids in Jerusalem. They want me to do some art therpay with the kids. My volunteer days are over now. No pay, no play!

Sat again with the kitchen lady and really almost finished.

Day over.

Another week gone.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Nostalgic Music

Last night Ari and I went to a Simon and Garfunkel concert here on the yishuv.

OK, so it wasn't actually Simon and Garfunkel, but it was close enough! It was two guys, Moni and Larry, singing Simon and Garfunkel tunes. And boy, were they great!

Although I still listen to their music on CD today, hearing the music live brought back memories of my childhood.

Some of the songs brought me back to Thailand and Patia Beach and the sound of the commisary screen door slamming closed with the music of S & G coming through the windows.

I remember finishing dinner during the week and my parents putting their favorite S & G album on the record player and dancing in the living room.

I remember fighting with my brother over whose tape was whose.

I remember in high school when a young man who had a crazy crush on me gave me the words to Bridge Over Troubled Water in a love note.

Moni and Larry played for over 2 hours with two encores! There were only two songs I didn't know and sang right along with the rest of them. I had a hard time sitting still! (I do not understand how people can go to a concert and sit still? Doesn't the music move them?)

Great music, great fun, and the best part was having a nice evening out with my husband!

If you live in Israel and enjoy Simon and Garfunkel music, I recommend them highly!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The 20,000 hit question

Is there a way to tell who was the 20,000 hit?

That's not the real question, though...

The 19,000 question got more than the usual amount of responses, but still disappointing. Thank you to those who DID respond!

Come on people, send me your answers!

Here goes:

If you could change one thing about how you interact with people, what would it be?

Have a good one!

Happy Change of the Calendar Date!

That's about all it is here in Israel - the turn of the calendar and the ability to remember to write "2006" on your checks!

My New Year's Eve was spent very differently than it was, oh, about 18 years ago when I passed out on my friend's bed even before the Times Square ball even fell.

This year I went to the Old City of Jerusalem with my husband and 3 kids (MB was at a Bnei Akiva thing) and then down to the Kotel (Western Wall). The Old City is so beautiful on Chanukah - we try to go every year when the menorahs are lit and the city sparkles. It was a sight to see all different kinds of Jews gathered together on the Festival of Lights at one of the holiest places on this earth.

It was the 7th night of Chanukah, not New Year's Eve!

We dropped DB off in the center of the city. (OK- that was a little nuts! Leaving my 16 year old in the middle of Jerusalem to meet friends on New Year's Eve!) The difference between the city center and the Old city was like night and day. There were people out partying!

We drove to Neve Yaakov, a suburb of Jerualem where brother Matthew lives, to drop off Ely so she could sleep over at her cousin's house, and pick up my Mom.

Back at the Yishuv, it was about 11:00 PM, we walked up to our neighbors who was having their annual Chanukah party. Not very many people were left. Which was good - I hate crowds! There was a circle of singers and guitar players and a side group of talkers. I sat myself down with the singers, I brought in the new year singing holy Jewish/hebrew songs. No one even acknowledged the turn of 12:00. It was like any other night...

I spent New Year's day shopping with my Mom for tiles for the new house. It wasn't as painful with my Mom around. She loves doing this stuff, so she made it more fun. I am still in a very resistant place, even as the house REALLY starts looking like a house!

So back to school and work we go tomorrow. Today is catch up with luandry and phone calls day!

Happy whatever it is for you!