I had the lovely experience of having my work phone pressed to my right ear, listening to music, on hold with Social Security for a client... all the while having my cell phone pressed to my left ear, listening to my older son scream how he did not want to go to Hebrew School today.
Honestly. You have not lived until you have gone through that wonderful stereophonic experience.
Max's woke up crying yesterday. He did not want to go to Hebrew School. And yes I know, it sucks to have to go to 2 1/2 hours of school after school. I know it. And he's too young to realize the benefit of education for education's sake. (Heck, some people never get it...) But. His dad does not bring him every other Sunday. He learns new stuff every class. I cannot let him stay home, he will miss too much, fall too far behind, and then really be upset.
Also, since X does not support it, I have the wonderful experience of having it all fall on these little shoulders.
And yesterday... well... it all just got to be a little too much. He was crying. He was begging. Pleading.
I said I need a reason. Why? "It's weird." Hmmm.... Ok. How do you feel about being Jewish? "Ok." He said. Then I listed all his friends who go to the other, Reform, Hebrew School (and we don't go there simply because I don't have a car & I know I will not walk there on a snowy Sunday morning...), and all the people he knows who go to Hebrew School. I said, you know, it's considered "weird" to be Jewish and NOT go.
I asked how he felt about the work. How he felt about the kids in his class (one boy keeps "shushing" him - which I think is kinda funny, considering how... errr... vocal he is!) and there was really nothing that was too off. He just Does. Not. Want. To. Go.
And oh. Have I mentioned that this only happens the Tuesdays after he's with his Dad?
So, he ended up going. The poor sitter, on her second day, was able to get him there. But I can't deal with this all the time. I'm so angry at X for putting this all on me. And it's not a religious thing. True, X was not born Jewish - but I think it's really just a respect for religion. You don't need to be the same religion to understand the importance of it in some people's lives.
When I worked at the student exchange agency and we had to place religious Muslims with religious Christian families... and the families were freaking out... "they pray 7 times a day!" We would explain - but yes, look at how they feel about religion. The respect it. They understand it. They understand how you feel about it. A religious person of a different religion would be a better fit than a non-religious person of the same.
Ack! So where am I going with this? I don't know. X has no respect for anything or anyone outside himself. And that's it. He has no empathy at all. He is all, ultimately, just for himself. So how do I get through to him how this impacts Max? Me? He won't care. He can't be bothered getting up on Sunday mornings & Max has totally picked that up.
It's in the agreement - "father will transport children to religious education..." but I've decided that this is not to the point of me entering a court battle.
So now I'm tossing around the idea.... giving X money for a taxi one way? $10? I feel like I"m totally selling out... but I need to not have this stress in my life & money is the one thing X does understand...
So. We'll see. I'm thinking.
On a lighter note - the new sitter started Monday. She has been with my old one, who has been training her. My new sitter is from Brazil. My old sitter is from Colombia (her parents. She was born here.) And. They have become friends!!!! My new sitter has no family here, and cannot leave the country for five years in order to get her green card. My new sitter invited her over tonight! She is going to spend Thanksgiving with her family! They are going shopping together on Friday! I made a shidduch! I'm just so happy about this I cannot tell you! Plus it re-affirms to me the decisions I made about the quality of the people I hired to care for my children...
Tonight we're going into Manhattan to watch them inflate the balloons for the Macy's Day Parade. It's always a mad house.. We'll see. Then we're staying over J's and tomorrow going to his X brother in law's to watch the parade!! X and his girlfriend were supposed to come with us tonight, but surprise of surprises... he bailed.
Errr yeah. I did. But I'll tell ya', there's nothing like going to a Bat-Mitzvah with 30 thirteen year olds to make you feel really old! Oy, the loud music! Oy, what these kids listen to these days! Oy, what they wear!
I'm cool, huh?
And I survived the small talk. I smiled a lot. And his family are all so, so nice and welcoming... it's really special and I'm very lucky.
It was strange though. I have to say. I was keenly aware of being the "girlfriend". I had met most of his family, but had never been in this situation before. A situation as early as six months ago he would have brought his (soon to be) ex wife. (They were trying, are trying, to still do stuff together - for the kids....) I'm not her. (I know, no shit.) But I really felt my Not-Her-ness.
Totally all my issue, really - as like I said they were so welcoming... but. I felt it.
They were all called up from the table where we were sitting for a "family" photo. Ummm... I just didn't know what to do. They got up. I sat there. At the table. J's sister came back to get me. (Apparently she said to him: "Why is Amy there?" And he's great, but... you know..... sorry guys, but he's a guy. He didn't think. So she went to get me.) I nearly cried. The whole thing was just so overwhelming.... in their family? Not in their family? Then when it was obvious that that was how I was considered... the whole overwhelming-ness of that.....
And being with his daughters. In the apartment. I'm with two little boys most of the time... and it was so cool getting dressed with them! With girls! His older daughter telling me that I'm younger than the dress I chose to wear (which is kinda what I thought... it was a little matronly...) - which was so nice to hear!
So, there's ANOTHER Bat-Mitzvah in two weeks (my birthday weekend, btw!) and I don't think I'll be nearly as nervous... I don't think I'll be able to. Apparently there will be over ONE HUNDRED kids.