Finding myself in the Middle East

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happiness, misunderstanding of

"If I had less space and the kids crowded around me more, that would be the best," said no one ever.

I am cooking in the kitchen and my helpers are having a knock-down drag-out about whose apron is whose, and their flailing bodies manage to block every single cabinet that I need. And I am calm--well--calmer, because I am thinking, my new house will have an island and they will sit there and smile and be sweet as together we make shape cookies and put them carefully into the spotless oven

So yeah.So first, yay! Because we have to get the mortgage approved and sign a bazillion papers and maybe cry a little and eat a lot of pasta, but then we are going to move!  And be nomadic no more! Our own place; no one can kick us out! (unless they give it back to the Arabs, of course, there is always that. Crazy world. Nuf said.) To a big apartment and it has a garden and a porch the size of my current everything and it is gutted so oh well we have to renovate it, and it is going to be awesome.

And my mind says, Yes! And it will also be perfect! And the birds will sing and dinners will be perfectly balanced yet surprisingly tasty and the kids will start eating things like broccoli and I will never raise my voice!

It's been a hard year for a lot of reasons, but also and especially my father died and for a while nothing seemed worth anything. Conversations in the park were insipid(er) and cookie making was draining. But there is grieving and then there is sadness, and sadness covers everything with a thin, dampening layer. And while I have experienced sadness in the form in which helping yourself means accepting that for right now you can't do it by yourself, real sadness, regular sadness, is a choice. If I relinquish that control and put that choice onto anything external--new house, non coo-coo for Coco Puffs kids, a smaller waist--I will never be happy. There will always be something else--when I get THAT, I will be happy--and my hands, reaching reaching reaching--will always be empty.

Also, this happened:

(walking home from gan, sipping on bottled water, with my mind on the heat and the heat on mind)

Coco-pop: "Ima, the scary lady pinched Zahavi, and it hurt her."

Me: #freakingouteverymothersnightmare "When? Which lady? In the park? WAS THIS IN THE PARK?"

Coco-pop: "No, on her ears she pinched her."

Me: "....?"

Coco-pop: "It feels like it. When Zahavi got earrings. So can I get earrings? Just with no pinch."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cast off the Shackles! Or, please Pay by the first of the Month

"Princess, put down that marker this instant, and go to the bath! Before it gets cold!"

"No! I can't! I need to finish this picture first!"

And of course I get annoyed, and of course I mumble between gritted teeth what are we going to do with a girl who doesn't know how to listen to her Ima and of course I take the marker out of her hand and march her straight to the bath.

But a teeny tiny part of me is glad to hear her loud, firm, chutzpadik NO. 


Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a girl.

Yeah, whatever, she was me, you get that.

Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by myself, I was saying that there was a girl. And she could not say no.

This was bad, because there are people who, like the dogs they are, smell weakness. They smell prey.

This blog has a number of posts that never made it past draft stage. Most of them are about that time in this girl's life. Because I share all sorts of things with you, O Internet, but there are all sorts of things that I never will.

There are some places in your mind that you can never go into again. And not because you  are not healed; you are. But because you are not that person anymore, and the box no longer fits.

Of course it no longer fits.  Now this girl is a grown-up! She is ME, as I so cunningly lifted the curtain and revealed to you! And she can now stand up for herself!

Except that it still gives me a stomachache. It's like I reevaluate my worth every time I need to take a stand. Am I worth bothering this person? If I send the e-mail demanding explanation, she will have to take the time to explain. Am I worth that time?

Of course, I am worth that time. Of course. I know that. 

Completely not mysteriously at all, this theme keeps coming up again and again in my life.

And I take my sword and have at thee.

Because I am all grown up. Now it's time to take care of myself. Now is the time to say no.


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