Tag Archives: monsey

Monsey Tales

We survived the weekend. Intact. Well, we did, the fridge – not so much. Seven kids and two grown ups – it takes a lot to feed that many people. We went from total peace and quiet, the two of us, to us plus seven kids, within the space of 24 hours. And we are sane enough to still tell the tale. Ok, I know that’s a matter of opinion, but hey, allow me my delusions 😉 . We are now back to 4 kids and two adults – the decibel level is slightly less, but the house is still hopping.

This will be the first full week with my kids here – and they are not going to day camp. The two big boys are too old, and most of the older three’s friends have gone to sleepaway camp. Not an option for my boys. The little one would probably enjoy day camp very much – but it’s not an option this summer, either. I am starting to appreciate how cheap everything was in Montreal. School, camp etc is three times the cost here. The kids will be doing Ima camp as they have done in summers gone by. Makes for a relaxing summer, I guess. If anyone has any suggestions of stuff to do locally that won’t break the bank, that would be appreciated.

We shlepped them to Costco yesterday. Heehee. Their eyes went huge as they saw the selection and the prices and the sheer size of some of the packaging. Yeah., I can make fun, especially as I did the same thing two weeks ago when the KoD took me there for the first time. But now I am a seasoned Costco veteran so that gives me seniority.

I had better go and wake up my boys for minyan – will check in with you guys at some point…

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Damn You Chicago!!

I was doing great. I barely shed a tear today, leaving my KoD in Monsey after two and a half weeks together. My lower lip trembled but I didn’t give in. I was strong. I was mature – this is part of what we signed on for, and it won’t have to happen too many more times. Soon enough we will have our visas and 333 mile drives will be a thing of the past.

The radio was my undoing 3 hours later. Chicago. “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”. It came on the radio and just triggered the most humongous outpouring of tears. We hadn’t fought, so it wasn’t that. It was the first line “Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other” – and my heart was crying out that it wasn’t true. I don’t need time away from the KoD. I crave time with him. Being apart from him is the worst feeling. At that point, closer to Montreal than to Monsey I seriously considered just turning the car around at the next exit. You cannot imagine the ache I felt inside, knowing I was driving towards my boys and away from my husband. The tears just didn’t stop.

I wanted to be able to know that I kept it together the whole way home. I haven’t yet managed to do that. I should have known better than to listen to the radio. After that almost every song made me cry. Even Hotel California – oy, don’t even ask lol!!

And no, there was no envelope from the Consulate waiting for me…tomorrow is another day.

I leave you with Chicago. Hard to Say I’m Sorry

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Chassidim at Chuck E Cheese???

Ok, folks, up here in Montreal there are no kosher Subway franchises, Dunkin Donuts is not kosher nor is it ever likely to have a kosher place here either. Us Orthodox Montreal folks are really big on doing nothing to promote Ma’arat Ayin – the appearance of doing something wrong.

When I visited Brooklyn last summer and first stepped into kosher Dunkin Donuts and Subway I really felt like I was eating treife. It just seemed weird. I have been to a few more Dunkin Donuts since then, and in Israel we did Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken and tried a Pizza Hut too.

monsey trip july 4th weekend 029On a Sunday afternoon there are plenty of things to do in NY (as everywhere else) – laundry, cleaning, cooking, but the kids don’t really like that kind of activity, so you want to look for something fun and inexpensive for them to do. Apparently there is a place called Chuck E Cheese which has lots of Arcade games and stuff for kids to put tokens in and win prizes. Awesomeness. Ok sure, let’s go there! Kids will have fun and stop whining that they are bored. What? It’s a treife restaurant too?

I dunno, it just felt kinda weird – going to a treife restaurant to play games? Not really my thing, but when in Rome and all that. So we go in, they stamp our hands with the same UV number, different from everyone else – that’s to make sure that when we leave we leave with our own kids who have the same code. Smart.

The place is huge with all different games and pinball machines etc. We got tokens for the kids and off they went to have a blast. The restaurant and eating area was separate from the gaming area – and it wasn’t obviously a restaurant in my opinion.

Once the kids were all settled I looked at the mix of people around me – white, black, asian, latino….and chassidish?? What? Ok, I am not exactly irreligious, far from it, but my boys in their baseball caps and short trousers don’t look obviously Jewish and kinda blended in. If I, a modern orthodox woman, had issues going into Chuck E Cheese – what about the Chassidim? I mean, what if the Rebbe hears that they went to a treife restaurant? The Ma’arat Ayin would be huge for them. (It would be huge for me too…..but MOs are not held to the same standard as Chassidim).

From what I have heard before and since, the Monsey community in general is OK with the kids going to play in Chuck E Cheese (ok come Chuck E Cheese, pay me a royalty for everytime I say your name, ok?? Speak to my agent…..). We know they aren’t going there for the food, I don’t think my children even noticed that they sold food there! They were too busy winning their prizes and having good clean fun.

Truth is – if there was something similar here there is no way I would have taken my kids. It is just not done up here. Are we more discerning about where we take our kids, or are we more afraid of what people might think? We are told to be dan l’chaf z’chut – to judge favourably – but why put someone in that position to even think to judge you?

I went along with it because it sounded like fun for the kids and they had a great time. There was a huge weirdness and ick element in it for me, but that didn’t stop their enjoyment. Would I go again? Probably….but only because it seems to be socially acceptable in our community there.

What are your thoughts? Do standards change community to community? Place to place? Was this acceptable? Would it be to you? if you are chassidish what are your thoughts? (and why are you on the internet 😉 )

A Tale of Two Cities

 

 

Sigh. Sometimes I feel like I am living a schizophrenic type of lifestyle. My life is here in Montreal with the kids, where I have been for sixteen years. My future is in Monsey with my husband the KoD. I visit there often – with and without the kids, mainly without as we don’t want to interrupt their schedule too much.

 

I am slowly learning my way around my new neighbourhood in Monsey. I have made some great awesome life-long friends, reconnected with an old friend who just happens to live right round the corner. (We went to Bnei Akiva together. He went to school with my brother). I have connected with many people in the neighbourhood (ok I will learn how to spell in the American way once I move, k?) that I just know will become friends.

 

I am learning my way to the grocery store, Walmart, Dunkin Donuts and the schools too. I am slowly getting the feel of the place.

 

I feel so at home there. I guess I should look at it as how fortunate I am that I have two homes, but the truth of the matter is that neither place is completely home without all of my 5 main males.

 

The I-87 has been well travelled in the past few months by myself and the KoD. There are so many markers on the way – just passed the flag in the middle of the road, just passed the boat on the side of the road – little things that show us how close we are getting to each other.

 

It does get confusing though – I know I bought more milk – only to realize I bought it for the other place. I just cleaned too – but that was there not here….

 

I wake up sometimes not sure of where I am…..but the likelihood is that I am still in Montreal because that is where I am to stay until we are granted our visas. I will visit the KoD as much as I can – he will come up here too. It’s not going to be perfect, but that is our current reality. We hope and pray that the visas come through soon so I can be full time in ONE place, Monsey, with the kids and my KoD, under one roof, living happily ever after.