Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And Then It Dawns on Her...

This morning I attempted to move my return flight to Israel to an earlier day, soon after Raphaela's little debutante ball in New York. The representative of British Air told me that they unfortunately had no places available, and so I am resigned to be stuck in one of the circles of Hell until next Thursday.

I made no secret about my being miserable, and did not hide in a corner to make this phone call.

Next thing I know, my sister and my mother are discussing me at the breakfast table, how insane and hyper-sensitive I must be to want to move my flight. Then miraculously, despite the presence of the favored sibling, my mother wants to take a walk with me and Raphaela rather than spend time with my sister and her family. (Not that I invited her.) My mother starts telling anyone who will listen was a wonderful baby I have, how hard it is on her that I live so far away, and how she couldn't possibly do anything in the next week because "Leah needs me." She even offered to make me breakfast, a huge step over the last week in which she did not notice that I was not at the table and had missed two meals in a row.

There may be some part of me that would feel grateful that my mother noticed me, but I mostly feel angry and neglected; I don't trust her with my vulnerability and with emotions and ideas that are important to me. I may just end up spending lots of time in the next week discussing the weather, a real challenge as I hate small talk.


Anya Bananya said...

Your mom might feel that you don't need her and if she offered to help, you might think that she was implying that you are incapable of caring for Raphaela by yourself.

Obviously you are a wonderful mom who pulls off amazing feats like taking trans-Atlantic flights with an infant, balancing childcare and running your own business, moving to another country, etc. Mom and sis, who I gather lead more traditional lives, might be a little bit intimidated, and amazed and of course, very proud.

I think you may be experience a classic parent-child conflict. Child says "I can do it myself." Parent feels conflicted because s/he recognizes that child can/should "do it themselves," but the parent still has strong options about how "it" should be done. Parent may feel that s/he knows the only possible way in which "it" can be done. Parent is probably wrong about this, and probably has been wrong many times before, but might actually have some good advice. Child having heard all of parent's bad advice in the past may have no interest in the latest installment. Plus parent feels sad because child "doesn't need me anymore." Conflict ensues.

Your mom may be telling everyone that "Leah needs me" because she is thrilled to discover that you need her.

Raphaela is super adorable and you are amazing! I am also sure that the day that Raphaela says "I can do it myself" or its Hebrew equivalent will come soon enough.

koshergourmetmart said...

i agree with anya-your mom may feel you are superwoman and do not need her help since you are so far away and she may not have realized you need her. she may feel that anything she says will be misconstrued vs your sister where she does not have that problem. Or, another thing could be is that your mom may have issues from her divorce from your father where she was a single mother and it was so difficult for her vs where it may seem to her you have it so easy (she did have 2 kids while you have 1). why not open up to her? moms need to feel wanted- perhaps your sister is the "favored" one b/c she asks for help making your mom feel needed.