Finding myself in the Middle East

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heart to Heart

I don't remember what she was crying about. I didn't buy her a treat? A party missed? That was it, yes, she had a birthday party and somehow I had gotten the date wrong, but she wasn't mad at me because she had also remembered the same wrong date. (Hey, maybe they had told us the wrong date! Just occured to me.)So she wasn't mad, but she was so SAD, she was sobbing so hard she could barely walk up the steps.

"You don't even really know her!" I pointed out, frustrated at her level of sorrow.

This, suprisingly, did not help.

"There will be more parties, better ones!" I said.

She sunk down on the filthy staircase and howled like a--oh, I'm stuck here. Like something that would sink down onto a filthy staircase and howl.

"Princess!" I said sharply. "those steps are gross! Get UP."

She did not get up. Her pain and her decibal level increased to a level that could probably make it into the Guinnes Book of World Records under Saddest Girl Ever Over a Missed Party.

The door two steps down opened. I cringed and looked down. It was the only neighbor in my building who did not cover her hair. "Ma kara,motek!" she asked. What happened?

I flushed and made a face like, kids. gag me with a spoon. "She missed a party," I explained in my halting hebrew over the noise of Princess missing a party.

"Ah...." her lovely brown eyes widened sympathetically. She looked at the pathetic lump formerly known as Princess and said, "Zeh kashe." It's hard. "Aval, hakol l'tovah!" But everything is for the good. Her eyes were still sympathetic. They were also completely sincere.

And Princess stopped crying. She stood up, shakily. "Can you maybe buy me a treat?" she said, swiping a full arm across her nose.

"Yes, I can buy you a treat," I said. I waved at the neighbor lady. She waved back.

"Zeh kasheh la," she said again, before she went back inside her house.

Not anymore, I thought as we headed towards the makholet. A fleeting whisper of a thought,why couldn't I say that? accompanied me all the way there.


Cymbaline said...

Bad Mommy? OR it's always easier for an outsider to be rational about a screaming child....

sporadicintelligence said...

Don't beat yourself up...a lot of times, it's not what's said, but who said it.

Anonymous said...

appreciate your neighbor for her goodness and understanding! rachelli

JerusalemStoned said...

Cymbaline--thank you. Maybe. i hear.

sporatic--I just feel like sometimes I don't have the right words to comfort her. And ones of emunah...? Why did it spring to my neighbor's lips and not mine??

Rachelli--I do! I just want to be the one who is good and understanding!

Mystery Woman said...

It took me forever to finally learn that. To stop trying to make it better, and instead to just hug them and feel with them.

Princess Lea said...

How old was this woman? You don't yet have twenty years of mommying under your belt, so it is understandable.

Although, I have a feeling that if YOU said "Hakol l'tovah," your daughter wouldn't have stopped howling. It makes a difference that some else, a relative stranger, was commenting on her screaming. Maybe she's so big now she's ashamed to be bawling in public.

Mommying is a learning process. And as I constantly prattle, all that matters is that one is willing to learn.

And remember: even if you are feeling sorry for something you did, don't let them know! Then they'll steamroll over you.

Malka said...

"the pathetic lump formerly known as Princess"

You rock my socks.


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