Finding myself in the Middle East



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temper, Temper

I turned my back for a minute, I swear. But that's what they all say, right?

"Shel me ha'yeled hazeh?"

I ignored the voice in the hallway. My yeled was right--

?

I found myself in the hallway, hand over my heart. I live on a fourth floor, and by the steps there is a space--

--you know what, I can't even think about it.

"He's mine! Sheli!" I shouted to my neighbor, and that's when I realized that he was on the roof.

"Who left the door open! Who did it!" I shouted at my daughters drive-by style as I ran to claim Turtle. I shot a relieved smile at my neighbor. He did not return the smile.

"Zeh mamash sackana!" He scowled. It's very dangerous!

Are you kidding me? I felt the smile freeze on my lips. "Ken, ani yodaea." Yes, I know. Do you not see me freaking out? Did you think I left the door open on purpose? He is so fast. I took my eyes off of him for a second.

"Don't leave the door open!" He continued.

And I'm sorry to say that it was not self-control or good manners that kept me from saying what exploded in my head at that moment. It was simply my eye-wateringly awful Hebrew.

Because this man leaves his children waiting at their door sometimes for close to an hour after they come home from school. He is still in Yeshiva, and I pass by these kids hunched on the steps and I sometimes invite them up and sometimes tsk tsk. (And usually also in this mixture is a great deal of annoyed, because they block the steps and I have to wait for them to move and Turtle weighs roughly a gazillion pounds.)

And once when he went out he locked the kids into the house (!!!) and forgot one of them, a three year-old boy (!!!!!!) who wandered around the hallway (I sent Princess out to get him but he didn't want to come) until the locked kids inside found a key and let him in.

So back to me on the roof and all these words locked behind a wall of broken-teethed Hebrew. I let out a strangled "Todah," and went home.

I was still spewing internal venom as I sat down to help Princess wih her never-ending homework. And there was so much that I could be self-righteous about, but three cups of tea later, I realized some unpleasant things about myself.

I consider myself a non-judgemental person. But apparently, this only holds true when there is nothing to judge.

When there is, I do, and nothing except for a bad command of the language kept me from verbalizing my judgements.

And how about my temper? Am I so unsure of my parenting that one parent, whose methods I heartily dissaprove of, can ruin my afternoon with my children? Apparently, I am. Apparently, it can. Apparently, it does.

It is sobering. I'm a little ashamed. And maybe glad for the first time that I still have not gotten around to taking an Ulpan.

2 comments:

chanalesings said...

Glad he's ok. We once had a similar situation in Macys. I felt like the most irresponsible mother ever. I like the lesson you took out of it.

JerusalemStoned said...

Right? But it's just that they are so fast! And they have zero sense of self preservation!

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