Monday, January 14, 2013

Psychological Transference

In a few days, several of my relatives on my mother's side - aunts and uncles and cousins - will arrive in Israel on vacation and will be based in Jerusalem.  I am more excited than words can express.

This morning I received an email from one of my first cousins who has a son approximately the same age as Raphaela, and as I considered the possibility of the two of us spending time with our extended family, my mind lurched into fantasy land.  I imagined not just hanging out for a meal or two, but also having at least some of them come see my house and Raphaela's Gan, maybe sitting at my favorite local coffee shop with them and feeling like they have a true insight into my day-to-day life in this country.

I often find it difficult that not only do I not have a husband, not only do I not have any immediate blood relatives in the country as an emotional safety net and as baby sitters; but that no one knows or appreciates Raphaela as deeply and richly as I do as her mother, and as the only person who spends each day watching her develop and grow.  I have stopped counting the times when Raphaela says or does something marvelous and I want to share the moment with someone, and then I think to myself, "No one else would really understand why this makes me so happy."

I must be realistic, my relatives have come to Israel for a break from their lives and have planned many tourist-like excursions that do not include massive amounts of time with us.  They probably don't have the inclination to randomly visit Raphaela's Gan, and why should they, it is not their child or grandchild. 

In all this gloomy ruminating this morning, I realized that my enthusiasm to embrace others into my life comes from that vacuum of not having my parents or siblings on the same continent.  And while the sadness and regret is not sufficient to make me even consider moving back to the United States, I know that I must temper my expectations for my aunts and uncles and cousins, and be thankful for whatever quality time we do experience.

1 comment:

Commenter Abbi said...

Your level of self-awareness/knowledge is truly astounding. I really admire it.

It's tricky having vacationing relatives around, but can they come for a meal on Shabbat? Also, maybe you can join them on something their tourisy things? R is probably old enough to handle some tiyulim that would have been too hard when she was younger.