Finding myself in the Middle East

Monday, May 31, 2010

In My Arms

Outdoorsman, after a particularly hard day with Princess: "Princess, we wouldn't be able to live without you."

Princess, pout painted on: Nuh-uh, nuh-uh nuh-uh. You would would would.

Outdoorsman, stroking her hot little cheek: "No, we wouldn't. We need you."

Princess, squirmng away from him: "No, you don't need me at all. You have Coco-pop."

Outdoosrman: "But she is not you."

Princess: "Yes, she is. She's big now."

Outdoorsman: "But she is not you."

And she melted and sobbed.

I need to hold you more and touch you more, my Baby-Big Girl. I take it for granted that because I love you so much you know that without being told. You don't. I need to tell you. And tell you. And tell you.

So this morning, I told you. I told you that before you were born, Ima and Abba were just a wife and husband. That when you were born, you made us into Ima and Abba. And that no matter how big you get, you will always be our baby, because you were the first.

After reasuring yourself that always being the baby does not mean getting back into diapers, I think that you understood.

My baby. My big girl. How often do I need to say I love you until you finally believe me?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Like a cloud of dust slowly settling on a newly washed floor. So slowly, so gently, it settles, you don't even realize the floor is filthy until later. Much later.

So slowly that when it dawns on you it feels quick, like someone flicked out the lights. All you know is, now you're groping in the dark.

This madness. This sadness.

You know what it is, really. It's not really like Before. Like That Time Long Ago. You're heavily pregnant. You know it's hormones. You know it's the frustration of not being able to do what you need to do because your hips ache so bad, your body is rebelling, and it's so hot. You know the kids drain you, too.

But that knowledge doesn't help you when the darkness settles in. When the light switches off simply when your husband forgets to say goodbye when he leaves in the morning. Buried in a snowdrift, where no one can hear you scream.

Edited to Add:

Outdoorsman got me a gift certificate for a massage, and set a bubble bath for me. My friend took my kids to the park for the afternoon. Sometimes the sun comes back so quickly, you blink back happy tears, blinded by everyone's love.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To You

To My Darling Princess,
on the day that you turned five,

The last thing that you said to me today before you went to sleep, as we took off the shabbas clothing that you wore in honor of your birthday, took my breath away. You said, "Ima, tomorrow I will be five."

"Today you are five, sweetie," I said, puzzled.

"No, today I AM five. With shabbas clothing and a party. Tomorrow I will wear plain clothing and just be five. Like a regular day, only I will be five."

You took my breath away, with your mature observation, your deep connection to the way things are, your need to understand and clarify the world around you so that it makes sense in your mind.

But you always take my breath away, my beautiful tempest, my too-smart little girl. Life is not so easy on you, because you wear your emotions on your sleeve. The world disappoints you deeply, as do I. As do I.

But life is also a thing of wonder and beauty for you, because you feel so deeply. Because you are quick to tears, you are also quick to laughter. Because you cry rom the depths of your soul, you also fly to the moon with delight. You feel, touch, drink life. You are a ray of sunlight. You are my princess.

On this fifth birthday, I give you a blessing;

May you find your path in life, and feel it with your heart and mind. And may it make you happy.

I love you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea, Toast.

So, you know how they say that you never appreciate something until you don't have it anymore? 'K. Guilty.

I have reached that stage in pregnancy in which I vascilate between Do I Really Have another Month and a Half Before this thing is Out Of Me? to ThePainTheBloodTheFear... maybe it should just stay put. Especially since I went for my last ultrasound, and the warm loving technicion (why are you here? in a voice like the dust from the bottom of an unused tea-cup. Because I'm havin' a baby! says I, bouncy-like, havin' a baby-like. Oh. Yeah. She says, with a voice from a thousand fathoms deep. Get on the table. It's dirty? Whatever. Yank down some more paper. Also? My soul is completely dead.) said, are you sure that the week is right? The head, which I am measuring now, is a few weeks larger than the date given.

Check the rest of the body says I, bounciness receding like sudden male-pattern baldness.

The rest of the body was normal to date given.

She glances at Outdoorsman. He is a big man. Ah, says she casually. The baby probably just has your husband's head.

Then, as if she hadn't just announced just how my labor was going to be (a NIGHTMARE), she clipped my papers together and gloomily informed me that I can get my own paper towel to clean up the jelly smeared on my belly.

How do I know from that one little casual comment that labor would not be a walk in the park? Or rather, a walk in the park during a hamsin? Because, you see, Princess had the same diagnosis. Only hers accured an hour and a half into pushing. When my labor coach glanced at my beloved helpmeet and said, "you have a rather large head."

"yeah," he said, puzzled.

"I think that might be the problem," she said softly, but not quite softly enough. That was around the time that I fell to pieces.

But! This time it will be different! Because it is number 3 and my body knows this game and all will be perfect.

Quiet, internet, with your horror number 3 stories, by the way. All will be perfect.

You in the Back! Stop it! With your back-labor-ten-hour-pushing-then-it-turned-out-to-be-triplets stories! All will Be Prefect!

Now. I feel much better. Where was I going with this, by the way? Oh, yes. This was all an intro to how we never appreciate until yadda yadda yadda.

So, I was pretty much uncomfortable, hot, not sleeping, glaring at my snoring husband's large head. Then something happened to make me realize that I had it really good.(aside from the fact that there are so many girls who WANT to get pregnant...I know that at 3:00 in the afternoon, but not so much at 3:00 in the morning...) I got a stomach flu. This is the second time its made its rounds in my family, but it was mild before. this time, it came with all of the trimmings. Fever, vomiting, my legs as weak as a newborn calf's.

I am now getting over the worst of it, and I must say, it is so nice to just have a regular 8-month pregnant belly to be uncomfortable with. Nothing like something real to complain about to put everything else into its proper perspective.

Edited To Add:

But this morning Coco-pop woke up with fever and a diaper too horrible to describe. Here we go again...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slimy and Satisfying

We are moved, we are settling in--or will be, as soon as I vanquish The Random Boxes of Pain and Agony and Random Stuff. I hear woodpeckers and bluebirds from my window and can fill up the pool and have the kids in bathing suits in under five minutes.

(I'm also 8 months pregnant and living at the bottom of a hill during hamsin weather, but, ya know, pros have their cons.)(I'm also supposed to be doing laundry and making a shopping list and cleaning the house and emptying out a few Random Boxes of Pain and Agony and Random Stuff-or ThoseDarnBoxes, as I affectionately call them, right before I burst into tears--instead of eating cold leftover broccolli kugel and blogging, but ya know, pros have their cons.)

Anyways. We are getting there, lazy pregnant iron deficient lady of the house not-withstanding. And we are so happy! We have trees! We stand under our trees and pick out the ripest looking fruit and eat them and feed them to the kids and then lick our fingers, sticky from the juice. My kids are not used to the idea of bugs ALL OVER THE PLACE and honestly, since they do not pay rent, as Outdoorsman says, they will be sprayed and evicted, not in that order, but the idea of having an OUTDOORS--in Jerusalem--wow. It's so nice.

We are so grateful. We are making a BBQ chanukas habayis to show Hashem our gratitude even though we do not own the apartment. Because nothing lasts forever, right? Not even a place that you buy.

As I write this, the girls are having a tea party on the little round table outside. They just opened the door to the house by themselves, brought out the toy tea set, and set the table. Their heads are together, one blond-ish, one red-ish, and they are giggling.

This pregnant lady will now go before she leaks tears and shorts out the computer.


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