Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kidless and lovin' it.

MB, NED and ELY left with Ari on Sunday night. Alone with DB. Adina B is staying herre until she finds a place of her own.

So far I have gotten my ear peirced, gotten a manicure, gone out to lunch and dinner with DB and gone to see a movie with him.

Not bad for only 2 days...

Tomorrow I hit IKEA again. And then an IBL game.

Lovin' it...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My second hole and MB's sweet 16

Earring hole, that is...

As a kid I never wanted for anything. I wasn't spoiled, but I got pretty much everything - within reason - that I asked for. I don't ever remember feeling that I wanted something so much, that when I didn’t get it, I felt deprived. Today I possess a deep feeling of thankfulness to my parents for that feeling of security.

When I was 16, I got my ears pierced. I would have to ask my mother whether I got my ears pierced then, because she wouldn't let me get them pierced until I was 16, or I just didn't want or get around to it until then. Don't really remember, but I do remember going to Colonial Jewelers in downtown Frederick and getting my ears pierced for my 16th birthday.

Sometime after that, whether it was in high school or into college, I wanted to get a second hole. Just one, in my left ear - "Left is right and right is wrong" - the saying went. Getting an earring in your right ear meant you were gay. Don't know if that saying still holds true, but that's the way it went. Left ear only.

My mother would never allow me to get that second hole. I remember her saying something about it not being appropriate or cheap looking. Something like that. So instead I wore the wildest earrings ever, and became known for my hamburger and flip-flop earrings or my wild red net ones. Didn't matter - the crazier the better.

I've toned down over the years. Not as wild, but still having fun.

Fast forward.

Today is MB's sweet 16. She has been asking for a second hole and I have vehemently opposed it. Saying something along the lines of: “you can move out” or “don't even think about it.”

It was the "but WHY IMMA?" that got me.

I didn't have an answer. It was a just “Because I said so.” For 20- something years I have held the belief that it was inappropriate or not necessary. Nice Jewish girls just didn’t do such a thing. But the words didn’t sit right with me anymore. And I told her to let me think about it.

So I thought.

And I couldn’t come up with any good reason why not.

And then it hit me -- I WANT A SECOND HOLE! – I’m a nice Jewish girl. I'm going to be 41 in two weeks. Why am I still so worried about whether my mother lets me get a second earring hole or not? I like the way it looks, I’ve always wanted one, and I’m going to get one!

I asked Ari what he thought. He was fine with it, which surprised me. Pleasantly. He just insisted it doesn't end up being in our noses, bellies or eyebrows! It meant so much to me that he was okay with it.

And so, I decided to tell MB tonight that she and I would go this week to get our second holes together. She didn’t believe me at first. I explained myself to her, and she just thought it was the coolest!

I don't expect my mother to like it. I only wish she would accept it. Accept me. Accept my daughter.

I DO march to my own drummer. I always have. And at 41 I am learning to accept myself for that. To be me. Not to judge me or criticize me. Just accept me. Love me, even. Don’t have to be something else for someone else. Just be content to be me, for me.

I can still be a good, kind and loving person, love (and fear) Hashem and feel His presence in my life. Do mitzvot and live in Eretz Yisroel - with a second hole in my left ear.

Maybe, just maybe, it will help make my relationship with Hashem stronger.

Maybe. We’ll have to see...

No matter. At 41, I will get that second hole, I will plan and make my own birthday party. I will eat chocolate for dinner and I will love me because I can.

As Rabbi K says, "Don’t judge. You don’t want to be judged, so don’t judge someone else."

Happy Birthday MB! I love you even with your second hole!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

DB graduates high school

Yeah, it's true.

My little boy, who was born yesterday, it seems, graduated high school.

In Israel he's not officially done until he finishes his bagrut exams.

It was a different graduation experience - for me at least. No pomp and circumstance. No seriousness. No cap and gown. yes long speeches (most of which i understood very little!) Complete choas in the giving out of the certificates (not diplomas). The guests - mostly parents - sat at tables with tablecloths, burning candles, plates and napkins, with fruit and cookies, drinks and some kind of borekas on the table.

When DB told us he wasn't coming home with us, I flashed back to my graduation night party and thought, "Oh no!"

"I need to say this to you DB, because I have to. Be careful, graduation night tends to be crazy."

"Not here Imma. These are Chorev (name of his school) boys. You don't have to worry."

I admitted not knowing any of the boys he is going out with. They are going to do a night hike, have a BBQ and then go to daaven in the morning.

My whole frame of reference is off. It's a completely different culture that I don't relate to. It's all very weird.

Nonetheless, I have a high school graduate.

When did that happen?!?!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Up Now, Can’t Sleep

I woke up from Ely’s bed at 12:45 AM sweating. Ari had turned off the air conditioning and it was HOT! Tried to take myself to my own bed, turned back on the AC, but my mind was up. Racing. Thinking.
What to do? What to say? How to do it? When? What is most important? How do I get him to care? To listen? Should I? Shouldn’t I? How? When?
Money. Do we have it? Should we spend it? How do I know? How do I make the decision?
Going to the states. Sending Ely. 7 weeks. Without me. Ari doesn’t like it. I feel selfish. I need the break. But is it too much for her? For Mom? For me?

Should I join them at the end? A lot of money. Do we have it? Should I spend it?

Logistics. Getting from Baltimore to Boston. Kids could probably do it on their own. Together. But should I make them? Means expectations from Mom and MIL. Packing. Shopping. Stressful.
Maybe I do want to be there. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I just need a short break. I hate flying.
I need sleep. But can’t get it. It eludes me.

Clean up the kitchen. Still digesting “dinner”. Can’t eat. Can’t sleep.

DB is leaving. Mentally and physically. I’m struggling. Don’t want to over-function. Graduation tomorrow. Not the same. Is he missing out? Are we? How could it be?

Sending the girls to camp. I’m torn. Time. Money. Responsibility. The “right” choice.

Still can’t decide what I want to do for my birthday. I will end up doing nothing… That will be sad!

New clients. Social skills. Converts. No-shows. Cancellations. 32 hours left to go.

Dovid’s coming. Professional Baseball in Israel. Fun or stressful?

Should I go to the states or not? Will Ely need me? Will it be too much on Mom? Ely says, “I’ll call you everyday Imma.” I know she’ll be okay. And maybe I should just go at the end. It’s only money. That’s what we have it for.
Why save it? Why spend it? Spend it until we don’t have it? Who should I ask? Who should I listen to? Who really knows?

Maybe I should take the money freedom course. LYO?

Mind racing. Need sleep. Felt "low" today. Kept going. Ignored it. But felt it in my gut. A little scary. Kept going. Don't touch it.

Embassy tomorrow. Anxious about the stress. I try to stay calm. Ari and I react differently. I over-function. Can’t stand the conflict.
Teenagers. So much work. Buy me, Get me. I need. I want. Take me. Leave me alone. You’re annoying. I don’t want to. How come? Whatever…

Israel. I live here. It’s not easy. Politics. War. Corruption. Prejudice. Judgment. Aggressive. Me Me Me. Shalom.

Decisions. Lights. Colors. Comfort. Practical. Useful. Money.

I need a break. Thinking too much. Need to relax my mind. Slow down. Stop.

Sleep. Go. Stop. Breathe. Go. Stop. Sleep.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Don't miss the "Big Talk"

I saw some pictures from a shul dinner in Boston. Everyone was so dressed up. Not that the honorees didn't deserve the kovod (honor), but I do not miss that stuff. Small talk, fake smiling, control top pantyhose - No sir, do not miss it!

We had a visit from a new neighbor today. Actually they are a family who is only here in Israel for three weeks out of the year. They built a vacation home on our street. They arrived today. He came over to say hello. Nice people. But I don't miss the "big talk" of how much money I spent on this or what name brand that product is. Just a turn off for me, and we just don't hear much of that here. Why do I need to know that the whole family flew business class?

The materialism is not important here.

One of the reasons I love living in Israel...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weird Dreams

The last couple nights have been non-restful dream-filled nights of not much sleep.

I am dreaming again of friends and acquaintances from high school. I haven't dreamt of these people in years. I used to. When I first got married, I dreamt of these people all the time. But over time these dreams stopped.

Why now? Why would I dream of Heath Covey and Kathy Arnold? Mark Hickey and Janice Warner? Tina Jones and Susie McCue? They are such random people?

Dreaming about Teri and Matthew and Julius is normal for me. Even David Rolls and Kelli sneak in. But the others? Just weird!

Sitting with Matt Pedersen at a lunch table in a cafeteria, I asked him, “Do you think I’m fat?”

He answers, “Yeah, you’ve gained wait, but I love you anyhow.”

I reply, “That’s what I always loved about you, Matthew. Even when I was fat, you loved me.”

Just weird, MAN!!

Why now?