Finding myself in the Middle East

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Butterfly Kisses

"But, but but, I want it, want it want it, and also, it's almost Purim, so it's a good time to get a treat. Right?"

I kept my face carefully blank. Then let a smile touch my lips. "You want it want it want it?"

Princess' face looked like the sun coming in from behind gray clouds. "Yes."

And it's a good time for a treat?"

"uh huh."

I touched her chin. Her stubborn, set, adorable chin. "Just because I love you. Here you go."

Her eyes looked suspicious. "In a bag."

"In a bag."

"I want to pick them."

"It's so important to you?"

"Uh huh." She paused. "Please?"

"You can pick them. Then we need to hurry home."

"Okay! Thank you! My morah says that we need to all dress up tomorrow! For the party! And you can come! Imas can come! But not Abbas." A frown creased her round little mouth. "I don't know why."

We are changing our interaction with Princess, and now it's listing to one side of our ultimate Golden Means. And I am holding my breath, but it seems to be working. She has had only one tantrum in the past two days, as aposed to all. day. long. The odd thing is, we were inspired by a vlog.

It's weird to even watch it. It's basically a vlog about the day-to-day life of this family. They happen to be religous Mormons. And I can't stop watching them. It took me a month to figure out why.

They have three kids and one on the way, a huge family out of our world. And it was clear to me that the mother and father love every minute of it.

It took me another month to figure out why.

I think they just love them. The kids, I mean. They just love their kids. And that sounds like, well, duh, but really it pretty deep, I think. They just love them. They discipline, sure, and they are actually kind of strict, but there is never anything harsh behind the interactions. No expectations.

I'm actually having a hard time putting this into words. Let me give an example. When I was 9 months pregnant with Princess and living in 35 square meters in a building where you needed to try really hard NOT to hear exactly what was going on in all your neighbors' lives (I was tempted once to write a letter to one neighbor, explaining why he was right, and she had spent too much money that week carelessly. I also knew when another neighbor found out that she was expecting a boy after three girls. So excited for you! About what? Erm. About. Your new dress?)my husband and I overheard a father admonishing his little girl, "Is this how our tzadekes behaves?!" And I remember thinking, or maybe one of us said to the other, maybe she doesn't want to behave like a tzadekes. Maybe she wants to be a little girl.

That's it, basically. I am not trying to give in to her wants and constant desires. I am trying to project simple love and understanding, with no expectations. Not that I don't believe that she can become whomever she wants to become. Not that I don't believe that she can't rise above her contant need to control every situation. But that right now, while I would love her to, and I will try to lead her onto that path, I don't expect it. I won't project disproval while you wear your emotions on your sleeve. I don't expect you to be a tzadekes, my complicated little girl, I am trying to tell her. I love you for who you are right now, in front of me.

I tucked her in last night, my eyes red with the fatigue that has been hounding me since my pregnancy started, and has gotten worse recently. Outdoorsman, bless him, has been helping nightly with bedtime these past few weeks. "Tell me something that made you not so happy today, and something that made you happy today."

She thought for a moment. "Merav said I was a little baby today in gan."

"Oh. That didn't make you feel good?"

"NO. But she is silly because I'm even bigger than her."

"Yes, you are. And did something happen today that made you happy?"

"Yes." she dimpled. "You bought me an extra treat. Because you love me."

Because I love you.


Anonymous said...


MusingMaidel said...

brought tears to my eyes ...

JerusalemStoned said...

Aw, thanks! Here's to hoping that we're doing it right this time...

Mystery Woman said...

Do we ever know when we're doing it right?

Anonymous said...

I love it!

Staying Afloat said...

Great message- I think I'll work on it this Shabbos. Thanks.

JerusalemStoned said...

Mystery: I guess not...

Anonymous: Thank you!

Staying Afloat: I'm so glad that this spoke to you.


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