Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yom HaAtzmaut 2011

On Yom HaAtzmaut morning, my mother decided that she was too old or too tired or in too much pain to perform the job of helping me with Raphaela.  She slept in late, watched TV and complained about back pains.  She bitched about jet lag, getting too little sleep and not understanding how she was supposed to function and take care of Raphaela. She napped while I walked to the supermarket with my broken body to get some groceries.

When I said to her, "Welcome to my life," she said the Lethal Weapon equivalent of "I'm too old for this shit."

By the time the afternoon arrived, my mother was in better spirits as we drove to my friend in Hashmonaim for the traditional Israeli engorgement of all things BBQ.  It was an anniversary celebration of sorts with my friend, whom I had met last year at almost the exact Hebrew date, when we both got stranded in Boston because of the volcanic ash travel incident. 

We had the Yom HaAtzmaut feast at her parents' house, with her whole family.  Her husband, who has been in and out of the hospital in the last year with a severe degenerative neurological disorder, he was healthy enough to attend, and when my back started hurting he offered me a Morphine (Lovely Morphine) lollipop.

Raphaela enjoyed the day most of all, playing and flirting with the older boys and racing on mini-bikes, and eating from the huge selection of meats, vegetables and of course, desserts.  These people, with their staggering generosity and warmth, live on a quiet street with a house and a yard, a rarity for those of us who live in the city of Jerusalem.  She crawled on the grass and went up and down stairs, and we both enjoyed the clean air and fresh breezes.

Yom HaAtzmaut reminds me of family gatherings in the States on Thanksgiving, or even during Christmas break.   On this day, the greater family of Israel remembers that despite our differences, we are one people and we must join together to protect our interests.


koshergourmetmart said...

I think you are judging your mom WAY too harshly considering that she dropped everything to come to Israel to take care of you and RR at the last minute and probably at an expense (which I am sure she was happy to do). Instead of being grateful (at least in your posts) you sound petty and unbelieving when she says she is "too old or too tired or in too much pain to perform the job of helping me with Raphaela" You are upset b/c she "bitched about jet lag" even though you wrote "After being re-routed through Cyprus because of a gasoline problem, my mother arrived from Boston at my house in Jerusalem very late Thursday night[no wonder why she was jet lagged]" and she "bitched about getting too little sleep" [isn't she is up early with RR every day-earlier than she is used to at home in Boston] From your posts, it seems your mom has put you and RR as her #1 priority which is something in the past you have not felt she does. It does not sound like your mom has been on vacation in Israel, visiting friends/other family, going out to eat and going on tours. Your mom is not young anymore (she must be in her 60s-you are tired as a 40 year old taking care of RR) as she used to be and at least when she was your age she had help from other people. Someone I know took care of her 3 month grandchild from 10-5and was exhausted by the time they came home-and that was taking care of her for less than 1 day!! I know you are not feeling well or like your normal self but cut her some slack and be thankful that she came to help you at all.

Amy Charles said...

Doc, I largely agree with KGM. If my daughter does what you did, going off to [place far away] and having a child on her own, and takes ill and can't take care of her baby, I won't be there. Not because I wouldn't want to, but because I don't have that kind of money. If you ask me, you're very lucky your mom had the bucks and was willing to spend them and come.

I'm going to indulge in a little told-ya-so that's guaranteed to make you start defending your mom. This isn't aimed at you, but at SMBC advocates in general.

Chronically, when I hear someone touting a "you can be a SMBC!" book, I go in and make a speech about how uncertain this world is, and how often people do get seriously ill, and how often friends and family do not magically arrive to take care of your small child when you physically can't -- indeed when trying will hurt you. And that this is one of many reasons not to expose yourself to the risks involved in having a child with no backup unless you're fabulously wealthy, or have a wealthy family that likes you enough to spend on you.

I get shouted down every time. That's fine. Doc, when you've recuperated from this, you need to figure out how you're going to handle this next time you need surgery, or find out you have some serious condition that requires schedule-decimating medical care, or or. You need a network beyond your mother. What other resources exist there?

Commenter Abbi said...

My mom complains of being tired, jet lagged, and in pain just coming for two weeks to hang out with us 2-3 times a year. And she's not even 60. And she's healthy. It's exhausting taking care of small children, especially while recovering from a long flight. It takes two weeks just to really get over jet lag. And then they go home.