On reflecting about Mothers day I discovered that I have been given the biggest gift. A gift that I did not know was there until I was ready to find it. In the Wizard of Oz it is Dorothy who follows the Yellow Brick Road of enlightenment, guided by her intuitive dog Toto, to find her way home back to Kansas. At the end of her journey she discovers that she had the power to return home the whole time. I am an African American woman born and raised by both of my parents who were also African American in Queens NY. I have two younger brothers who are identical twins. Both of my parents are originally from the South and became turned off by their traditional Baptist upbringing. There was no mention of God in our house, my parents weren’t athiest but somehow Gods name was never mentioned. At an early age my mother starting speaking to my brothers and I in Yiddish. We never questioned this as it was all we knew. As far as we were concerned, all Black moms spoke Yiddish to their kids. My family celebrated all the major Christian Holidays, with no mention of Jesus. We didn’t go to church like other kids in our neighborhood and my brothers and I grew up thinking that Holidays were about food, presents and candy. My mother often spoke of Judaism and how much she admired and respected the religion. She taught us what she knew about Jewish Holidays but never mentioned why she was doing so. By the time I got to college, I decided I had no use for God at all, but this changed when I became pregnant many years later and experienced many complications. All of a sudden doctors were telling me that my fibroid tumors were putting the baby at risk, blocking the birth canal and in the end could also endanger my life. On top of everything I developed preeclampsia and had to have an emergency C section to save both myself and the baby. My mother was there to hold my hand and during the operation I found myself quietly whispering the Yiddish words she spoke to me when I was a child even though I had no idea what the words meant. My beautiful daughter was born happy and healthy but after I left my daughters father and moved to California I found that the stresses of motherhood began to weigh on me. I longed for a spiritual connection and searched all over trying to find the right spiritual path. I was disappointed when I realized that nothing was resonating for me and almost gave up when I remembered all the things my mother told me. I called her and asked her to explain why she spoke of Judaism so often and spoke to us in Yiddish when we were younger. She told me that her mom died when she was just a child and that a kind Jewish woman named Adele Lindeman became like a mother to her. She taught her about Jewish culture and how to speak Yiddish and pulled her through a very difficult time. It was then that I realized that I did have a spiritual path and that I had one all along. In honor of my mother’s experience I decided to convert to Judaism and to pass this on to my daughter. On this special Mothers Day I give special thanks to my mother and to Adele Lindeman for helping me to find a spiritual path and to start new traditions that include all my experiences. Happy Mothers Day to you all.
Your Are Currently Browsing: Bitter and Resentful Mom
In shopping around for a synagogue, I came across one where the whole service was in song with some periodic dancing. The Rabbi spoke for about a minute at the most before the band busted out with another song. There was a lot of twirling and joining hands and going around the room in a circle. I was snatched up by an old guy in a yarmulke who pulled me out of my seat as I danced and twirled awkwardly past the band. I thought oh well, what are the chances that anyone I know will see me. but of course a dear friend of my friend Tobe was sitting in one of the isles with her husband. I figured if they were there they must be into the twirling so I relaxed. Truth be told, I enjoyed myself.
I really need to buy some new clothes because the next day I was taking out the trash and when I bent over my entire boob fell out. I have lost weight recently and my bra and dress are way too big. I quickly popped it back in and then looked up to see the neighbor mowing his lawn. I think I got it back in before he spotted it but I’m not 100% sure.
Letting go of the ego…
Is almost an impossible task
I got up today and decided I wasn’t going to participate, then I changed my mind. I decided to give a try. I wasn’t too scared today, this is unusual for me, my whole life I’ve been a coward. I feel more courageous now. This is what faith does I guess. This is what I have wanted my whole life. In daring to be average I have found freedom.
Went to a meeting tonight for parents with kids with learning issues. It was comforting to know that there are other parents going through the same thing. When I was a kid I was not diagnosed. If i had been they would have found a variety of issues including attention, sensory and impulsivity problems. I went through life thinking i was crazier than I actually am. I’m not denying that I’m crazy, I’m just saying that I’m not that crazy. One of the parents in the meeting noticed that I was sitting on a lacrosse ball, when I told her the pressure was good for my hip she just stared. My landlord and friend suggested we get a goat to keep the lawn trimmed. My therapist choked on her coffee when I told her a story from my childhood. My daughter was constipated for three days and looked like a pregnant 7 year old.That is all.
My perfectionism is up again. I break through it by writing terrible poems. My two fans like to know I’m consistent.
Uuuuugh last week she had cellulitis
this week it’s gas
A bird pooped on the window
a flea bit me on the ankle
my neighbor tried to give me a random piece of wood as a gift
I’m afraid i’ll be up all night
God is good
I was supposed to be helping my daughter with her research project when I noticed what a soccer mom I am. I started taking over her project on Oysters and clams because I felt like she wasn’t doing it right. I turned into a crazy person as everything had to be placed just so. She asked to glue things on her self but I hogged the glue stick and the scissors. I became obsessed with it being perfect, losing sight of the fact that its purpose is for her to learn about Oysters and Clams not to win project of the year. I finally got a grip but wow what a control freak I am.
I really got to look at my perfectionism today, my constant panic about not being good enough. It affects all areas of my life even shopping for presents. I think that whatever present I get for someone it wont be special enough, clever enough, expensive enough, thoughtful enough or creative enough. So I was looking for a birthday gift for a dear friend after procrastinating all week. I know that she likes cooking stuff so I went to Ikea thinking I would find something cookingish in there. I don’t get Ikea or how it caught on. Cheap Swedish furniture with a restaurant that sells horse meat Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice? Ok, whatever. Anyway once I got in the store and realized I wasn’t going to find anything I had to go through the entire store to find the exit. The store is like ten miles long. Aisles and isles of Swedish nothing, it was awful and still no present, I started to panic as I made my way around the light fixtures, ugly sterile rugs and cheap wooden desks, the smell of salmon mouse and shrimp with root vegetables. I had to get, it was starting to smell good as I grew more and more desperate. Past the fake potted plants lawn furniture and then finally the exit. By the time I got outside i still had no present. It was dark as I ran empty handed to my car wondering if I should have bought a bag of frozen meat balls and gift wrapped it.
I know I must be ready to convert because tonight the subject of Bloodlines came up. A dear friend who is Jewish made a good point that you don’t become Jewish. Either you are or you are not, it’s a bloodline. Normally this would make me cringe and question myself but I know that what I’m doing is bigger than me, whether I am from some unknown Jewish blood or a past life or something else that I don’t understand. I explained my position without feeling hurt or left out. This is new for me and further confirms that I am making the right choice.
On a lighter note, I am partnering with a friend named Kay DeMartini to do a Bay Area story telling series. I’m super excited as improv and story telling are my forte. It’s awesome to see things lining up in the right order.