I reached for the phone and dialed a number. After being on hold for eleventy hours, a woman picked up.
My head pounded. My stomach lurched. But I took a deep breath and faced my fears. "Shalom," I began.
I never thought it would be this way, with my Hebrew. I never thought that after living here for nearly 8 years, the language would still be such a problem for me. Words were always my thing. I revelled in expressing myself using them.
But maybe it's because of the dependability of English words that I have a hard time putting myself out there using ones that I am not super comfortable with.I am not used to taking risks and having people laugh at me. I am eloquent, dernit! I do not sound like my Polish grandmother!
But here I am, panicking, with a list of phone numbers in front of me. I am trying to:
A-get Coco-pop into a special gan with physical therapy and speech therapy and every other kind of therapy that her teacher says she needs. So this involves calling the neurologist to make an appointment. I call. I stumble, but get the words out--I want to make an appointment for my daughter. Because her morah says.
There is genuine relish is in the woman's voice on the other end of the line as she informs in Hebrew faster than a speeding bullet that "Well! It's not quite so easy! First you must get a hearing test done. Then you must get her eyes checked. Then you must fill out these forms that we will tell you we sent to you months ago every time you call but really we didn't because we love when that little squeaky note of hysteria enters your voice but you can't even say anything because your Hebrew makes small children hide under their blankets. Then there are more appointment to make but we will not tell you about that until after it is too late to get in. Okay? B'seder? Yala, bye."
B-Find us another apartment. I cannot continue talking about that. Because I will cry and it will be the kind with a runny nose, and it will not be pretty.
I went to ulpan. I have Israeli neighbors. It's a made up language with so few words! What is so daunting about it? Why does it make me cry?