Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Kid on the Bike

Today, after picking Raphaela up from the care taker, we walked to the park to meet my friends Michal and Yael and their son Daniel. One of the reasons I moved to Israel was because of the weather, I thrive in the dry heat of the Jerusalem Summer, and I am hoping that we can make a regular habit of an afternoon playdate in the sun. The socializing provides benefits for both of us, I get to hang out with the Mommies and Raphaela learns how to share with other children. (And how to eat dirt and grass and sticks.)

At one point there were four babies on the blanket, at various stages of movement and crawling and all of them keen to play with Michal's dog, Milky. Then the drama started.

Apparently a Lubavitch boy had run over a girl with his bike. She was scuffed and in shock mostly, and several of the parents made an effort to help her find her mother, and to find the parent of the boy on the bike. The mother of the boy came over and opened her interaction with, "I know I don't belong here."

We all looked at each other, none of us had judged her because she was dressed in a long skirt and a wig, and none of us had judged her as a poor parent. But before we could respond and explain to her that accidents happen, that this could become a learning experience for the boy, she started literally ranting:

"I know I don't belong here, and I know you are all laughing at me and talking about me, and thinking how could such a terrible mother take her children to the same playground as my child."

Then she paused for a moment and looked at her son, and said, "Look at what you did to her, you are never riding your bike again, as long as you live."

Then she turned to the mother of the girl, who was trying to provide some comfort and sanity, and said, "My son has maimed your daughter, she will never be the same. You should get her to a doctor. There can be no penance and no forgiveness for what he has done."

The group of mothers sitting there looked at each other, debating whether we should say something to down play the situation, feeling sorry for the boy. We decided that nothing we could say would change the mindset of this woman, who felt imagined persecution because of her level of religiosity and her perception of her parenting skills.

Even as we tried to ignore her, she continued to rush over and spout her cries of "Why are you all attacking me?", "I don't belong," and "I am so sorry my son is bad."

I am sorry that this boy and his siblings must grow up in a house of dysfunction and paranoia, with a mother who clearly needs a support system.


Frayda said...

Wow! That is a pretty sad lady.

BTW, I thought you might be interested in this blog post over at Bad 4 Shidduchim.

Sarah said...

She needs meds and therapy, is what she needs. Poor boy.