Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Because seeing is believing

The email exchange yesterday between X and I:

ME:
I just tried to phone you. I think we should talk about Hebrew School.

When we were in mediation, and even while we were married you said you supported the children having a Jewish Education. Going to Hebrew school. Being Jewish. Having Bar-Mitzvahs. I understand that you did not expect it to mean Sunday mornings... but that is typically when Hebrew School classes are held.

Also, children typically begin their religious education at kindergarten/first grade.

Max said to me the other night: "When Nathan goes to Hebrew School Dad won't bring him. He'll skip it like he does with me."

I understand if something important comes up and you want to take the boys to that instead of Hebrew School. Those things happen. But not every week. This is now becoming something where Max knows. He sees that you don't support it. That you don't value it. This is not how we agreed to parent. We have to parent together even though we don't live together. This is important.

X:

I do support the boys Jewish identity and education. I never stand in the way around the time of Jewish holidays or significant events like Passover and I don't question their religious (or some may say ethnic) history.

It's just getting up at 7:00 am on Sunday morning to leave by 8:00 is not easy. Especially when it is cold. The commute is about 45 minutes each way-- and requires four trips in all (drop him off/back, pick him up/ back(. Nathan has to accompany me each time and it sucks for him

As for Max, I don't see him from 9:00 to 12:30. And by the time we get back to Sunnyside it can be 1:30.Three and half hours later he's going back to your place.

You can't think this is reasonable. And you can't expect Nathan and I to hang out in Forest Hills while its cold between 9:00 to 12:30. That's not fair to either of us.

I would just tell the boys...dad lives too far away and can't take you (which is true). Otherwise the boys will just think that I can't be bothered going and Hebrew school is not important (which is not true). Also, keep in mind. [girlfriend] and I are thinking of moving to Long Island City. What then?

ME:
They know you are not that far away. THey travel to and from your place. Your not taking Max *does* send the signal that you do not consider it important, as with a little effort you really could take him. THey are smart kids & pick up signals quickly. If it's so difficult for you to get there at 9, if you get him there by 9:30 it's better than if he does not go at all.


Couldn't Nathan stay with {girlfriend]?

Also next year Nathan will be going too, you know

You do not need to bring him every single time, but please - make the effort every once in a while.. especially around holiday time.

In terms of your moving to Long Island City -- that's your decision. THey have things they will need to do on weekends. They will have things they will WANT to do on weekends... (LIttle League, for one) especially as they get older.

HIM:

You have no idea! Very selfish
.


ME:
explain.


HIM:

{girlfriend] is not always able to look after Nathan in the morning. Also, I can't depend on this.


You know that it is 45 minutes each trip...and that is a conservative number on Sundays when public transport is at its worst. 45 minutes x 2 = 90 minutes, 45 minutes x 2 = 90 minutes. 90 minutes + 90 minutes = 180 minutes (3 hours).

You're being selfish.

Furthermore, moving to Long Island City. Well, i also have consider [girlfriend's] wants too. And without [girlfriend], I would really be struggling (even unable ) to pay the extracurrular costs for tennis, baseball, afterschool, etc. That would affect you and the kids!!!

ME:

How about this? Can I pay for one way of a car service every other week? $10?

HIM:

The car service is more than you would think. On Thursday mornings when i take the boys to school, it can cost anywhere between $20 to $28 depending on traffic.-

ME:
I can contribute $10 every other Hebrew School day you take/have him


HIM:

My strong recommendation to you is that you should tell the boys the following: "As much as dad has tried, we've come to the conclusion that the Jewish Center is just too far from Sunnyside. Therefore, you'll be going 3 out of every 4 classes. It will also give you more time with dad." Otherwise, it's going to be on again off again (depending on trains, events, etc.) battle as to their attendence; they will forever wonder what the battle is about and question the legitimacy of Hebrew school. Furthermore, they will remember this issue for the rest of their lives

-=-=-=-=-=

So, that's how it's left. There are many points I could have argued with him about.. but through the years I have realized that it just makes no sense. I expend useless energy. I think I have to toss in the towel with this one.... just have to work on losing the anger/frustration.

7 comments:

Family Adventure said...

My dear Alm,

First of all, I have to commend you on your very polite and respectful emails. Truly.

You are probably not going to like this...but...

I think your X has made up his mind, and unless something happens for him to change it (such as the kids wanting to go desperately?!), I am afraid you are fighting a losing battle.

At least for now. When the kids get older, it'll get easier.

I am really sorry. This must be so frustrating to you!

Heidi :(

Julie Pippert said...

I am so, so sorry. I think you are right, and it must be so frustrating.

Julie
Using My Words

Gwen said...

oy, oy, oy.

This reminds me of what John said ages ago, about how X is always going to be pushing the line to see what he can get out of. There's principle (stand firm! be strong!) and then there's just surviving the rush of the bull that is your ex. I could get lost in thinking of ways to denigrate him right now .......

niobe said...

Is it financially out of the question for you to just hire a car service to bring Max both ways? Because then X wouldn't have to do anything. Or how about switching Sundays with X for some other day? Or would it be totally insane for parking and cost reasons for you to buy a car? I realize that many, many people who live in the city don't have cars, but it seems like it would be a very useful thing, especially if X is really going to move.

Tracy said...

Happy Birthday Amy!!!!

Poker Chick said...

That just sucks. I'm sorry.

Cathy said...

I have no suggestions, only sympathy and an understanding of how difficult it is to maintain continuity when the kids go back and forth between two homes.

I hope the two of you can figure something out, especially if he does end up moving.