Daily Archives: November 30, 2009

With death comes honesty

I have a neighbor in my building who is quite a kooky character but a lovely man. He always looks upbeat and happy, but seems sometimes kind of lonely. Anyhow, he is Jewish but is very firm in not believing in the Jewish traditions. However, he has respect for the way we live our life and is very careful not to denigrate any of our practices.

He recently told me that when he dies he wants to be cremated, by the funeral home, with no service. He said he didn’t want people standing up at a funeral ceremony and spouting bull*&^% about what a wonderful man he was. He doesn’t want the hypocrisy and the shallow pomp and circumstance. He wants his son to scatter his ashes and just move on with his life.

He has a point. I am sure we have all been to funerals of people who were just regular people, but in death they seemed to have attained sainthood. But that doesn’t explain cremation, just not wanting a service. Although knowing my neighbor he probably doesn’t want a shrine to his memory, hence the scattering of his ashes.

What do you think?

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Oh, you don’t work?

Holy heckers woman! Of course I work. I work my fingers to the bone day in day out. What’s that? Right, I don’t do paid work. So that invalidates everything I do? Soon I shall start being paid for my writing. But apparently that matters little around here. Writing shmiting – unless you are published in Binah or Mishpacha it doesn’t count, and I have set my sights higher than that.

Yes, I am a mom. A full time stay at home mom. Is it a choice? Well, sort of. See I was working, until, due to the terrible economy, I lost my job the week before our marriage. I didn’t seek another because we thought it would be only a couple of months until we moved. Little did I know that I would be stuck here this long. For most of my kids’ lives though, I have been a stay at home mother. It was only last autumn that I decided to get out and work a little for my own sanity, since all the kids were then in school for a full day. It just increased the amount of stuff on my plate.

I am married, but to most intents and purposes, while I am up here, I am still a single mom. Therefore all the childcare, housework, bill paying, grocery shopping etc falls squarely on my more-than-capable shoulders. Each day is a flurry of activity from the time I wake up till the time I drop into bed exhausted at night. Plus I write in my “free” time. I make the time to do it because I enjoy it. Does that make me a WAHM mom even though it isn’t paid work?

Moms do not get enough respect. Single moms get even less. We work damn hard day in day out to make sure our kids are well taken care of. Yes, if I went out to work we would have more disposable income so I could hire a cleaning lady if I wanted to or buy the shoes I lust after. But when I was working, I found the time I was home, I was so busy taking care of everything in the house, and groceries etc, that I didn’t seem to have as much time for the kids as I wanted to have. Were they neglected? Absolutely not. I worked 25 hours a week, with a 90 minute commute total each day. Then I had all the shopping to do, the groceries, the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking etc. Homework and fun time with the kids was a must, a priority – but by the time they went to bed, I was exhausted, this was no way to live. Then throw in long distance dating and organizing a wedding and a kid with a broken ankle – my plate was overloaded. Just as well I was let go.

Life is a little quieter these days, but my plate is still full. Kids still need to be fed and clothed and bathed and homeworked and nurtured and loved and disciplined and fed again. I write every day. One day I will finish my book and start on the next. I am still on the road a lot. It will only get crazier once we get the notification of when we can move. Then I have to add packing to the list – but that will be an awesome addition.

So yes, madam, I work. Shove that in yer pipe and smoke it!

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Enjoy your food

Enjoy your food. What a concept! Food should be tasted before being swallowed. One inhales fragrances and such, not food. Savour it, taste it, enjoy the textures on your tongue before swallowing. Sigh.

What the heck is the rush with eating and teenage boys? They shovel the food in, as if there is no tomorrow, as if they have not been fed in months! You have spent an hour slaving over a hot stove, and the food is gone in sixty seconds. 2 hours later (if I’m lucky) the bottomless pits are hungry again. There should be a revolving door on my pantry and my fridge. Even better, we should live at the grocery store.

Thank God I am able to feed them healthy food as often as they need it. Thank God I am healthy that I can spend inordinate amounts of time cooking in the kitchen, preparing them their favourite dishes. Thankfully they have learned how to wash dishes and clean up after themselves because all this food preparation exhausts me some days. At least they go to school so my kitchen can stay pristine for a couple of hours in the day!!

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I got my baby fix this last weekend. Family and friends with babies came in for my friend’s wedding, and stayed for Shabbat. I got to hold babies, snuggle with them, have them fall asleep on me (which even the crankiest of babies does) and feel my arms go numb. I loved every second of it.

There is nothing in this world yummier than snuggling with a little baby. Of course the fact that if it cries or has a dirty diaper you can give it back, well that’s a good thing too. My youngest is seven. He still comes for morning snuggles and cuddles, but he’s all long legs and arms, and a hug last 2.5 seconds at best. It isn’t the same. That little downy head wedged into your neck, that soft rounded cheek resting on your silk-clad shoulder, drooling through their dreams. The deep rhythmic breathing of a sleeping baby is so relaxing.

I got my baby fix. I am good for the next couple of months.

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