Tag Archives: KoD

My Rosh Hashanah Message

Changes – not mine….

My kids’ lives are about to change. My youngest will no longer perceive himself as the baby of the family, yet he always will be my baby. My oldest will soon be the oldest of five, not four – but not in my house.  See, the boys’ father and stepmother are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child together.

It’s taken me a long time to be able to sit down and type this post – and even after so many months many of my emotions still make no sense to me.

Months ago, my ex called me to let me know they were expecting, and that he was going to be calling the boys later that day to tell them. He wanted to give me a heads up.  I so appreciated hearing it from him – even though I was totally knocked for a loop. I managed to wish them both well before ending the conversation.

I went up to the KoD’s office to tell him, and I burst into tears. Actually, I sobbed my heart out. As KoD held me, and mopped my tears, he asked why I was so upset, and even to this day, I cannot verbalize it. My ex and I have moved on with our lives. While we may not exactly be friends, we are civil and friendly and I was happy for them. But still – my children were going to have a new sibling that would have absolutely no biological tie to me whatsoever. This baby will be their brother (or sister – I hadn’t considered that!) yet have no connection to me. That sounds so tremendously selfish.

But the tears were for more than that – and I am still not sure why it hit me so hard. I guess part of me didn’t consider the possibility that they would have a baby – it just didn’t occur to me. Not that it would have been my business either way. Was it a type of jealousy? I don’t think so – My baby making days are over, and I am beyond blessed with the children that I have. I love the independence that the KoD and I have these days with the kids being older and becoming more self-sufficient as time progresses.

Maybe part of me felt insulted that our 4 boys were not enough for him? (As I write that I know it isn’t true. He loves his boys more than anything – but feelings don’t always make sense).

Even as I write this I know that the real reason for the tears is just not explainable. My reaction was a purely visceral one – as if I had been punched in the stomach. And after months of soul searching I still don’t get it.

Now months later I am excited for them. The boys talk about the baby a lot. And I encourage this chatter. I have half siblings myself, and I know that there could be a great bond formed if all the parents are on the same page. But I wonder. When he calls to tell me the good news, how will I take it? Will I be able to wish him congratulations with a full heart, or will it reopen this old wound? I want to just be happy for them.

Have you been in a similar situation? Can you identify with anything I am feeling?

In total appreciation

The KoD rocks. OK, we all know he does, right? I know I tell you guys often enough, but he has been extra awesome these last few days. I have been cranky and stressed and he has been so supportive and loving.

Yesterday, with all the shlepping and packing – he did not allow me to even think of moving a box or a bag or anything. You should have seen the way he emptied that storage locker and packed up the truck. So quick and efficient and so darn strong. Lifting boxes that were heavier than me as if it was no big deal!

I wanted to help out with the driving – ok, I will be honest, I was SO glad when he said it was ok, he’s fine driving the truck with the trailer. I would have been scared to drive it, but had he needed me to take over I would have. Thankfully he didn’t need me to.

When we arrived at HOME in NY, again, he would not let me unload the truck. We had our boys and some neighbours helping. I just directed everyone where to put the boxes.

The KoD is truly my knight in shining armour. This whole immigration thing has been so difficult and took so long and gave us both many many sleepless nights – but he has been there for me every step of the way.

I could not ask for a better husband, a more loving and caring spouse, or even a more patient one. (I would go crazy being married to me!!) Thank you for being you, KoD, I love you more than I thought it possible to love anyone. My love for you grows day by day. Looking forward to many many many many more years together.

Co-parenting after Divorce. It can be done.

There was a time, soon after we became a one-parent family, that I thought I would never be able to have a civil conversation with my ex, let alone be in the same building as him. There was a time that it hurt just sharing the same planet with him, breathing the same air – I was in so much pain that I couldn’t see past it.

We may no longer be married, but whether we like it or not, we are co-parents for life. We have four most awesome sons together who are our souls, our lives. Both of us are 100% invested in doing everything in the children’s best interests. Truthfully, occasionally our perception of the kids’ best interests differs, but we are always able to come to a peaceful resolution.

Time healed. Time allowed us both to work through our own issues and get past them. But that’s only because we were BOTH invested in doing so for the sake of the kids and for our own sakes too.

2 months post separation, when he was 11, our eldest asked about his barmitzvah. I can still taste the bile that rose in my throat at the thought of celebrating this momentous occasion with the “other side” of the family. It scared me. It frightened me. There was no way that I saw that it could possibly happen.

You know what? We made the barmitzvah together and it was awesome. It showed the children that their parents are willing to put them first. It showed the kids that they are our number one priority (or as they say, numbers 1 thru 4) and we would do anything for them. Sharing the simcha hall with my ex was fine – there are awesome benefits to mechitzahs!! We’ve since made another barmitzvah and have one coming up in 8 months. (We had three sons within 31 months!!). We have celebrated graduations and birthdays together, and sat holding our broken-legged child in the ER together.

Today we are able to pick up the phone and talk to each other like grown-ups. We don’t talk about anything other than the kids, and that’s ok. But I am so thankful that I am able to have this kind of “relationship” with him – that we have left the past in the past. Accepted that it is over. We have moved on with our lives. We are both remarried with stepkids. Our lives are an amalgamation of families and in-laws and relatives on four sides. As my kids say – so many more people to love them (and give them presents!!).

I just wish that all divorced couples were able to do the same. That at some point they come to the realization that they need to move on with their lives, and leave the nastiness and bitterness in the dust. It is even more important when there are children involved. I wish the divorce court could mandate some kind of co-parenting class for divorcing parents. Make them sign some kind of agreement that forces them to do what’s best for the child. There have been many things I have had to just accept, because being angry and bitter would not change them.

Had I not accepted my lot in life, the fact that I was getting a divorce – had I allowed myself to be consumed daily with anger and resentment and every negative emotion known to womankind – I would never have been able to move on with my life. I would never have been in a position to meet the KoD and realize his true value. I would have cheated myself out of this fairytale that the KoD and I have recurrent starring roles in.

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Chicken Feet

One of my favourite childhood taste-memories is the feel of chicken feet on my tongue once I was done slurping up my chicken soup on Friday nights. We would feast on pippiks and chicken necks, and sometimes Grandma would throw some chicken feet into the soup. Those who have had them totally understand the appeal of these delicacies.

raw chicken feet, ready for my soup.

Once I moved to Canada it became impossible to find chicken feet, in fact, people went out of their way to show me their utmost displeasure at even mentioning chicken feet and chicken soup in the same breath.

Today I was shopping at Monsey Glatt (an experience on a Thursday afternoon, I can tell you) and while perusing the meat freezers I came face to face with a bunch of chicken feet, packaged and ready to sell. To me. For my soup. This week. In my mind, this was reason #46279 to move to Monsey – they sell chicken feet!! I was so darn excited and couldn’t wait to come home and show the KoD my purchase, after almost 2 decades of living chicken-feet-free. Such deprivation!!

For someone who works in the food industry, his reaction was not as I expected. He was totally disgusterated at the idea of me even thinking to put them in the soup. Plus, the thought of this possibly being a regular occurrence seemed to shake him to his very core. I offered to cook them in a mesh bag-thing inside the soup, so I could take them out as soon as they were cooked. Only I would eat them, I wouldn’t serve them to him or the kids. The dude turned quite a nice shade of green – and totally leeched the joy out of my find. Harumph.

Well, KoD, let me just tell you this. I would look very very carefully under your pillow tonight before you go to sleep – you just might find some interesting items in need of a pedicure.

You know, I could have bought Beef Knees too – but I didn’t know quite what to do with those….

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Happy Mother’s Day, Now Bring Me Coffee….

It’s Mother’s Day. You are a guy. You wake up and your wife is snuggling herself up to you. Do you:

A)    Just hold her tight and tell her how special she is. OR

B)    Tell her to get out of bed and make you some %$#@ing coffee?

Sigh. Since the KoD and I got married almost 15 months ago, whenever he comes up to Montreal he refuses to make coffee. He is afraid of my swanky coffee machine. He is used to a plain percolator and my machine is a little fancier. He’s a smart man, for sure he could figure it out, but it isn’t worth the aggravation.

This morning, soon after we woke up, he suggested that I get up and make coffee, as we both need it. I looked at him, thinking he was totally joking. I mean, given the snuggling  situation and all – did he really want coffee that badly? Apparently he wasn’t joking. I threw back the covers in a huff, shrugged into my bath robe, and stomped off to the kitchen, throwing insults and epithets over my shoulder. “He’s a grown man and doesn’t know how to make his wife a cup of coffee. On Mother’s Day I have to make my own freaking coffee?!!” If there would have been a stiletto shoe lying around I probably would have tossed it at his head. The nerve!! I switched the lights on in the kitchen and blearily, angrily, reached for the coffee. Propped up against the swanky coffee maker that the KoD refuses to use there is a HUGE envelope that had “Happy Mother’s Day” written on it, in the KoD’s handwriting. The sneaky devil!!

I stomped back to the bedroom, yelling at him with a twinkle in my eye. I called him sneaky and mean and he was laughing his head off. I think I might have pummeled him a time or seven. It was the sweetest card ever – not that I cried or anything….

He loves playing tricks on me, my man, and I fall for them every single time. He so has my number.

A little while later he says to me “this isn’t going to be a blog post is it??”

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Simple things

You know, it’s the simple things in life that can fill you with the most pleasure. I spent most of today (once I arrived) just hanging out with the KoD. I had some papers to sort out, he had work to do, we ate lunch together (he prepared it), I did laundry. He had more work. We ran errands. Simple errands. The bank and the library type of errands. Dropped in on some friends, acquainted ourselves with our friends’ new baby (so delicious and small – totally precious), petted a dog. Dropped in on some other friends and hung out for a little bit and laughed ourselves silly.

Nothing major. No planning months in advance. Just…..life. Life with the KoD. Driving six hours this morning to feel this blissed out – totally and utterly worth it.

Shabbat is not too far off, and I am looking forward to more of Life with the KoD. So grateful to be here, with him, and to have such awesome people in my life.

Shabbat Shalom!!

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You are such a guy – part two

I just vented the following story to my eldest son and he says it makes absolute sense. He also says it’s male logic and I just have to accept it.

Yesterday I sent a picture to the KoD of some bed linens I had found in the linen closet. (You will remember we have discussed buying new linens and cannot agree on a pattern). I had bought them about 3 years ago, and used them for a while until I found something more girlie.  But all I said with the picture was – do you like this bedding? His response – “a most emphatic NO”. Then I told him that I found it in my linen closet. His response – “if free, then I like it”.

What on earth do you mean by that? If you don’t like it then you don’t like it! No? His explanation was that if I was going to spend money on it, then no absolutely not, there is no way on God’s green earth that he would want me to buy that bedding. But if we already have it, then why not. Sure I can bring it down with me and we can use it.

Does this make sense to you? Is this really a crazy male logic thing? When I like something then I like it. If I hate it, free or not, it won’t change my mind!!

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“You are such a guy!!”

A new series.

I say this so often to the KoD. He drives me crazy sometimes with his pragmatic look at the world. He is Mr Logic and I am Ms Emotion. It makes for some interesting conversations. I attribute a lot of it to him being a man, and looking at things in the male perspective, but maybe, just maybe, it’s just him?

My KoD has the most clutterless house I have ever seen. You don’t need something, out it goes. Papers are filed, they do not pile up (shocking!!), no dirty clothes on the floor, no socks under the sofa cushions, no wet towels thrown over the bed. When he takes something out of the cupboard he puts it back in the same place when he is done. (OK this is something I really like!! Wish the boys would learn to put things back). He is not OCD – but is seemingly allergic to excess stuff. Oh what a rude awakening he is in for when we move in!! Snicker.

Me, on the other hand, I have stuff. I am a woman, and as most people know, being a woman means having a lot of stuff, especially, if like me, you are a girlie girl. Make up and hair dryers, curling irons, and hair products, wigs and hats and scarves, in every shade and colour. Lotions and potions. 170 different pairs of shoes vs the 3 pair that most men have. We have clothes that fit us, and clothes that don’t but we wish that they did so we hold onto them just in case we lose those excess pounds. We have photos and mementoes that we have kept since we were in grade school. (I still have my autograph book from when I left elementary school). Birthday cards that our kids made for us in Kindergarten. The dollar store fake carnation they presented us with at their first grade French Spectacle. Most of the things we keep have feelings and memories attached to them. Ladies – you know what I am talking about!!

So we were talking the other day about packing and moving and all of that, and I happened to mention that I have a lot of the kids’ artwork to bring with me. His view – I am sure it is sweet etc but why do you need to keep it? (Well, I do have most things in quadruplicate. Same school, same teachers for all 4). Because the kids made it for me. “But why do you need to keep it? You are not going to look at it again. Ever.” – again, my answer “Because the kids made it for me. Duh!!”. “But what is the point of keeping it? They drew that when they were 3 – they can draw better now. Get rid of it.” Sigh. He is such a guy. I bet he would say to chuck out that carnation too…

It isn’t that he is not sentimental. He is. He hasn’t thrown out any of the cards I have sent him (but maybe that’s because he knows he would be in BIG trouble) and he does appreciate when the kids draw him something, or make him some lego or show him something they are working on. It just doesn’t need to stay around in a drawer for years.

KoD, I love you to pieces, but you are such a guy!!!

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One week till Pesach

There are some people that you can’t even talk to now as they have kicked their Passover preparations into high gear. I have already heard of people turning over the kitchens yesterday (the holiday doesn’t start till next Monday night!!!!) and their families are already griping that there is nothing to eat. I don’t get turning over the kitchen so early. Even if you have an army to cook for. They still need to eat this week, and eating out costs a fortune!

I haven’t made the kids crazy – we only have to Pesach clean one room before we leave, but I am always reminding the kids to keep their rooms tidy and clean. Yesterday I was rewarded with a short discourse about how slavery has been abolished in most countries, but Jewish homes this time of year seem to forget that. My kids have it so easy yet they have to grumble with their schoolmates just to save face.

I am so looking forward to this holiday. I know it will be an insane couple of days before the holiday as the KoD and I scramble to get everything done – but we will be doing it all together. In previous years (the past 15 years) I have done it more or less on my own (with the kids help and the occasional cleaning lady), so I am relishing the idea of having the KoD’s help. Plus this will be our first Pesach in Monsey together. It is indeed very exciting. We will have an interesting balance of some time alone, and then some time with all seven kids at home. It is going to be awesome.

Right now I am in major KoD withdrawal. I haven’t seen him for 2 weeks, and won’t see him till the weekend. It is the longest we have been apart since we met 17 months ago. I feel as if there is a part of me missing. Chocolate doesn’t even help anymore. Oh well, God willing, it won’t be for much longer.

Where are you at in your preparations, and when do you plan on turning over the kitchen?

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