Kvelling. It’s a verb. It means to be extraordinarily pleased or happy! We have our ups, we have our downs, but this week has been filled with a lot of, much appreciated, extraordinary happiness! I hope the same is true for all of you!
And the Yiddish proverb I leave you with this week is:
Love your neighbor, even if he plays the trombone! Libh deyn khbr, afilu aiob er fyeses di trambone.
I already have so much to be grateful for in the early moments of 2018. Here is the down low on good luck, bad luck, and perspective. Now, you may think, Lisalah, this you call luck? Take a read… you may see me as a klug(wise) or a meshugenah (crazy) momma. I’ll let you be the judge.
Even for bad luck, one needs luck. Tsum schlimazel muz men oich mazel hoben.
Bad Luck:My Mrs., she has been sick for days with cooties that have held her respiratory system hostage — knock you out on your @ss kind of sick
Good Luck: I have been off from work for the holiday, so I was able to allow her to rest and get better while the shana maidelehs(sweet Little and Big) were off for winter break
Bad Luck:My Mrs. has been so sick, she has not been able to help us prepare for our upcoming move (Yes, goodbye Manor! We found our way out — more to come on that)
Good Luck: She was not in the car when we were struck hard by another vehicle while driving, smack-dab in the front passenger side (airbags deployed and all) The irony here? We were headed to a warehouse scratch and dent sale for the washer dryer we need… Oy, this was not the scratch and dent we had in mind.
Bad Luck: We started the New Year with a bang crash, a car crash (see above) and already, a trip to the hospital/shmospital
Good Luck: Me, my kinder, we all got up and walked out of the car. So did the woman who hit us. I checked, not a scratch on them. I counted their fingers and if it wasn’t 8 degrees outside, I would have counted their toes too. I watched them sleep peacefully last night.
Bad Luck: My body is sprained, head to toe, after quite the jolt. My left foot looks like a lot like my Aunt Frieda’s foot did oh so long ago. It’s a swollen and distended appendage that stays the same circumference from my calf down to my toes… A cankle would be a welcome sight and a sign of improvement
Good Luck: This too will heal, and I am here to tell the story of how one split second can change everything you know as true in this world
Have you found ways that good luck and bad luck are intertwined? Tell me, won’t you?
Until next time, stay safe, stay present, and stay healthy my friends. Hold those loved ones closer, and may we all have a Happy New Year in 2018.
Normally, I say to my Gatsby, “Ess a bissel eppis, tatelleh,” (eat a little something, my darling boy. Then I feed him his 5,6,7 times a day nosh (meal).I always thought nothing is too good for my boy, until this happened! Oy vey…
Camille and Willa, American Girl Wellie Wishers, arrived from dear friends for Channukah for Big and Little. Nachas! (Joy!) Clearly, they love them! They take them everywhere and play with them non-stop. As a review, 10 stars out of 5! These dolls are a perfect size, easy to play with, less fear about ruining their well-coifed hairdo’s, and a lot lighter on the ‘wallet inflicted pain’ than their taller cohorts command. (This review is my own. I am not paid for my opinion. I should only, one day, be so lucky! Pooh, pooh)
One minute we are playing ‘Simon-says’, and the next minute, Camille (nick-named Millie) goes from 10-fingers-perfect to nine-OMG! One furry bruder (brother), guilty with his ‘jaws in the finger jar!’ Chicken bones are very nice, but the fresh, full-flavored fingers of a new Wellie doll, dee-lish! I look, I run, I scream, “DROP IT!” Out pops a very little, doll finger.
We recovered the damaged doll digit and somehow managed to save the injured soul of my Big, who did everything possible to successfully keep her emotions in check. I promised her I would soon perform a much-needed fingerectomy on dear Millie. I would reattach the pummeled pointer with the very best of my Jewish-doctor abilities. She knows I am a well-trained tinkerer, I fix things. I will make Millie whole.
When I am eating, everyone can go to hell! Ven ich ess, ch’ ob ich alles in dread.
Gatsby, he thinks, his only crime is getting caught! Lucky for him, he is so darned cute.
Wishing everyone all the best the holiday season has to offer! Health, happiness, and prosperity! ❤
So last night, I had a wonderful talk with my kinder (children) that I would love to share with you. Oh, they are so funny, so knowledgeable, so wise… It all started with Santa, and it went something like this:
Little: Santa brings presents to everyone who is young and everyone who is old.
me: Well, how old are you when you are young?
Big: Like, 20 and under. 20 and under is young.
me:So Max and Benny, they are old? (cousins, my loving nephews)
Little: Well, no. Definitely, beneath 29, you are young. Just beneath 29.
me:So what are you when you are between 30 and 69?
Little: What do you mean?
Big: You’re a middle person. You and Ema are middle people. (I was somewhat relieved to know my own kinder do not think me an alta kocker (literally an ‘old shit’ more commonly, an old fart))
me: How old do you think Santa must be by now?
Little and Big:He is at least 80 or even 100. We can probably ask Mrs. Claus. She would know and tell us the truth.
me: How does this whole present distribution thing work for Christmas? How does Santa give presents out?
Big: If you are mean, there are no presents.
Little: And if you are a little bit mean, you only get like one or two presents. Mostly coal presents or whatever they call that. What is coal?
me: What does ‘mean’ mean?
Little and Big: (forgive me, but this was a jumbled free-for-all in reply) Like when you exclude people or say insults about them. If you kick, slap, bite or scratch people, that is mean. Scratching people with a sharp rock would be mean. Pinching is very mean. Robbers steal things, and that is really mean. Like people who find money or credit cards on the floor and don’t return them to the people who lost them and instead they use it for themselves, like stealing it – that is mean. Stealing is definitely mean.
me: Who do you think of when you think of someone who is mean?
Big: Umm, I know a good one! (dancing around the living room) The President of the United States! He is mean!
me: Why is the president mean?
Big: He always insults people, especially people he thinks are not nice to him.
me: Will Santa visit the President on Christmas?
Little: No! I don’t think his kids will get a visit from Santa either. Well, maybe Santa will bring teeny-tiny presents for his kids if they get anything at all.
me: What makes Santa so kind?
Big: (now dancing with every reply) He has a VERYVERYVERYVERYVERYVERYVERYVERY big heart <3. He is really nice. He makes gifts all year long for everyone in the whole world. That’s all he really does all year. Then he delivers them to everyone who is kind.
Little: And then he sleeps for like 3 weeks ’cause he’s so tired from making all of those toys and delivering them around the world. And his heart ❤ is so VERYVERYVERYVERYVERY big.
I’m making some of this stuff up. Did you know that? (devilish smile in tow)
Big: The president, his heart is only VERYVERYVERYVERYVERYVERY BIG for himself and his money. He loves his money and himself. His heart for other people is too tiny, veryveryveryvery tiny heart.
me: Is there any way we can make the world nicer, and have more people kind, like Santa?
Big:(still dancing and twirling around the living room) We can spread joy by being kind and happy. It will then spread all around the world so everyone can feel it!
me: Is there a way we can make the president nicer?
Big: Do you mean Donald? Donald Duck? (awkward pregnant, pensive pause) Mommy, I want to call him Donald Duck instead of the president. I don’t really know an answer for that, mommy.
Little: He needs to get a bigger heart. His heart is way too small for a person. Tiny small. Like this small (imagine hand gesture of pointer and thumb just about touching).
me: If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?
Big: That Donald Duck wasn’t the president of the United States.
Little:That everybody was kind, and I had candy. That’s two wishes, I know, but I’m little, so that’s okay.
Well, this Yiddisheh momma can feel the live magic of Christmas spirit in the house. As a Jewish atheist, I’m alright with that.
me and the Mrs., we need to zug gornisht (say nothing) because as you can read above, the kinder, they are always listening…
Happy, healthy holidays to all of you! A bei gezunt. As long as you’re healthy.
If the world will ever be redeemed, it will only be through the merit of children.
Oib di velt vet verren oisgilaiszt, iz es nor in zechus fun kinder.
My kinder (Big and Little) and me, we went for a nice walk in the ‘hood with our boychik (little boy), Gatsby. It was a gorgeous autumn day, not too cold and filled bright with sunshine. They were hesitant. A bit groggy from the previous nights’ festivities. Yes, I did the dreaded mom-fail move: I bribed them.
“Come with me to walk Gatsby and I’ll get you both vanilla steamers at High Point!”
Before I could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, shoes, socks, coats and a, “We’re ready to go, Mommy! Aren’t you coming?” Here are a few snaps for our jaunt. What a lucky momma I am!
Never promise something to a child and not give it to them, because in that way they learn to lie.
Keynmol onzog epes tsu a kind aun nisht gebn es tsu zey, vayl in dem veg zey lernen tsu lign.
To say my kinder (kids) like to nosh (snack) is like saying the Pope, he is Catholic. Who doesn’t like a nice nosh (little something to eat….).My Little, she will even quote ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ and ask, “Can I just have a little smattering of something.” Now, no Jewish momma even this atheist Jewish momma is going to want to hear the geshrei (cry, moan scream) of hunger from their babes. Essen, bubbelah (Eat Sweetheart). It’s what we grew up hearing. You’re tired? Eat. You’re sad? Eat. You’re angry? Eat. You’re __________ (insert any feeling, emotion, TV show, a brand of car, celebrity, a sign of the zodiac, etc. and the answer in a Jewish home is always, EAT!) Eat. Stuff those emotions down your throat with a nice shmear (a robust portion of cream cheese) andlox (smoked salmon)on a bagel. Mind you, before dinner, Little, she had a nice plate of lox.
Noshers and fressers(those you can eat freely and copiously, no reserve!). That is what happens on movie night in our apartment. And last night, was no different. Vey iz mir (OMG), it’s a non-stop fridge free-for-all, where they stare like a deer in the headlights with the refrigerator door wide open — as if a spell has been cast upon them. Let me share with you a bissel of the essen (little of the eating) that transpired.
First, a nice meal. All of us sitting down together almost civil. Gatsby, he is circling, waiting for the crumbs to fall. We had a healthy, organic, vegan meal of Nona’s homemade lentil soup, bean burrito’s, roasted cauliflower, carrots, hummus — a nice spread albeit a little windy for all. We decide to rent Cinderella, the new-ish one. Dim the lights, roll the show, and…
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Mind you, we barely finished the dishes. And so, being Saturday night and all, we live big! The girls, they each have an ice cream sandwich (the very best of sandwiches in my book). Cue the film. Take 2!
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Something healthy, I cry…
My little, she brings the bowl of carrots over to the sofa and they crunch, munch and chew. Once the bowl was empty:
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat? Can we have another Ice Cream sandwich?
Can you make these bisquits?
No sweetheart. I’m not going to potchke (to fuss, and/or cook) in the kitchen now, after already making a nice dinner. Are you f**king kidding me?
Can I have that cake from Thanksgiving?
Not bloody likely!How about a squeezy-yogurt, honey? Breathe they’re just kids and they are growing
The squeezy-yogurts are from the freezer, so this should buy us at least ten minutes of movie time. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.
My Little, she then shouts, “Can I have a pickle?”
Bigchimes in, “Me too?”
I gotta let you know, they killed that entire jar of pickles. Gone. Gornisht. Bubkas left.
Little, she is still whimpering and is about to ask Alexa for the phone number to the department of childhood injustices, when she opts for a bowl of roasted cauliflower. I warn her that her belly is going to really start to make tsuris (trouble) for her and us. This is just too much. And this combination, oy, her kishkas (intestines) will be in an uproar. Now, you must remember, She’s got pipes. One bowl of cauliflower. Two bowls of cauliflower. At least this is some healthy sh*t she is eating!
Big, she starts stirring are they even watching the movie? and opens some almond butter granola bars before anyone notices. So of course, Little,she now wants some jalapeno blue corn chips.
ENOUGH! THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED! Itisafter10pmatnightandyouhavenotstoppednishingWearegoingtowatchtheendofthismoviebrushandflossourteethandgotobedTherewillbenocryingoutformorefoodYouareeatingoutofboredomorhabitormaybeagiantmomfailonmypartDoyouevenknowwhatishappeninginthismovieNexttimewewatchamovieitisonesnackOnesnackandthatisitOneDoweallunderstandJesusChristYesAtheistJewssaythistoo
And then, not ten minutes later, in bed, our Little, she says: MommyEma (an endearing term for us both), my belly hurts. No smoking gun here…
My Little (bottom left of the picture), she’s got herself some pipes, alright. Girlfriend can scream. She can shriek so much better than like Jamie Lee Curtis (nicknamed, the Queen of Scream) in any of the Halloween movies… It’s as if she is channeling some kind inner demon, that can reverberate at only the loudest volume. It starts from the tip of her toes and amplifies at the top of her lungs, barking, bellowing, clamoring … And yes, there are biting bouts of bonelessness, punching, and kicking that add to the happening that is a Little tantrum. Dear neighbors on all sides, above, and below, please accept my apologies for the ongoing mellifluous Mayday moments that travel freely through our thin walls. It’s no doubt, meshuggeneh (crazy) in here at times.
But there is a bigger problem that rocks me to my very core. Me and my Mrs., we do not know why our caged bird sings… Sure, there is a mishmash of anger, sadness, drama, fear, stress, exhaustion, hunger, and irrationality that we all experience every day since mr t took office from time to time. But she’s seven. How bad is life when you are seven? What kind of tsuris (trouble), plagues and misfortunes are stirring in the mind of my shana maideleh (sweet little girl)?Do I seek an exorcist so that Mrs., Big and I don’t get evicted completely bleed out from our eardrums? We are shreknt(frightened, terrorized).
There is no question that when my kinder (children) hurt, I hurt. You see, as I am certain you wise caregivers already know, this special performance nearby residents aside is saved only for us, her mishpocheh (family). Yes, we are safe enough to go all batsh*t cray-cray on to let your hair down. But it is a real shondah (shame) that we can’t crack this nut code and offer solace to my maidel (cutie-pie).
What is wrong? What happened? Are you angry honey? I don’t know. What happened honey? I don’t know. Little, can you stop screaming? I don’t know.Sweetie, please listen to mommy. No response. Did somebody hurt you? No. Did somebody hurt your feelings? I dunno? Are you sick, wounded, have we somehow scarred you for life tired, shaken, scared, hungry?
Okay, sweetie. Come with me so I can leave the room and not lose my sht all over this place we can talk more privately. You are right. We are not having Chinese food tonight. I am sorry that makes you mad and sad. And, this behavior is not okay actually it is quite impressive. If you think that acting this way will get you an Oscar or an Emmy a trip to the Chinese Restaurant, you are indeed batsht cray-cray incorrect. Now, are you really throwing a fit over Chinese food? Please know you can tell mommy or Ema absolutely anything in the world about anything and everything, and we will always love you. Always! If I could crawl inside you and see what it feels like to be myLittle right now, I would. I want to help you. And you cannot act this way. Okay? Okay, mommy. I’m sorry.
Take some deep elevator breaths and calm down. ( I do them too.) Good. Now Little, is this behavior you are sharing a good choice? No mommy. Is this behavior showing kindness to your family or community? No mommy. Whatis the one rule we have in our family? Be kind, mommy. Can we leave the bathroom where I am doing everything humanly possible to not go all meshuggeneh and scream louder than you and Jamie Lee Curtis combined go into the living room with everyone else and be kind now? Yes, mommy.
Consequences for such a performance? No TV. No iPad. No allowance. No play date. Obviously, no Chinese food. No solutions. Nothing works or phases my Little. Oh, she is a strong woman in the making! Somebody, help me?
Enter bathroom scene. Repeat. Oh, how I love this kid of mine!
If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlim, ir kenen prubirn alts.