it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. our week long holiday of sukkot finally ended. we had our barbecue this afternoon. once again, we ate way too much meat. i didn't even put out half of what i bought. i had well over 2 pounds of steaks, half a pound of lamb chops, a package of hot dogs and 2 pounds of chicken wings for 4 adults and two little kids. the daughter-in-law doesn't like meat. i put back two pounds of kabobs and 2 pounds of chicken liver into the freezer. it was just overkill.
one of my gal pals was supposed to join us for the barbecue. she came up last night and was very turned off by the, soon to be, three year old granddaughter's behaviour. something was bothering the girl. she cried a lot and screamed in pain for most of the meal. she kept complaining about her tush burning and then it was everything form her stomach hurting to her big toe burning. i tried rubbing vasoline onto her anus but it didn't soothe. the daughter-in-law didn't help things any by trying to squeeze pus out of a hang nail on the little girl's big toe. at one point she was screaming blood curdling noises.
i know that it wasn't pleasant to listen to it or be around it. i was getting more uptight by the minute. my friend asked me if this was how it was all the time and on every shabbat. i didn't answer. i felt like i was being judged. i didn't like her assumptions about my life. to be perfectly honest, i never really accepted invitations to families with a lot of kids throughout the years. i also, do not like a lot of noise. i don't like crowds, either. but this was not the usual at the shabbat/holiday table for us. it is usually more pleasant.
the kids usually play around the house while we eat. i try to feed them a bit early,too. they make noise but they don't usually scream all night. when the little girl gets tired she usually falls asleep at the table in her mother's arms. my friend was frustrated with what she perceived as poor judgement on my daughter-in-law's part. according to her the kids should have been fed and put to bed earlier. she was also very hungry and it was taking a bit too long to get the kiddush going. we had all eaten a late afternoon meal knowing that we would be home from services late so we weren't starving. my friend lives on coffee and cigarettes. i felt very pressured and internalized her discomfort.
the little girl finally went to the bathroom for the umpteenth time and came back smiling. she was no longer in pain. who knows what transpired. maybe she finally passed a stone, or laid an egg? what matters was that she was no longer suffering. my friend wanted to leave right after the meal. i offered to escort her out of the neighborhood. my grandson wanted me to stay home and sleep with him. i was rather tired but i walked my friend to the top street. when i got back my grandson was playing cards with my other friend.
my other friend was angry at my daughter-in-law for picking at the little one's toe all evening. she blamed her for all of the commotion. we both tried telling the daughter-in-law that she should soak the toe in warm salty water to draw out the pus. i explained that a cotton ball soaked in warm water would help the situation but of course, she ignored me, as usual. i can only imagine how much it hurt the granddaughter as she squeezed the infected toe. anyway, it was only the four adults for the barbecue this afternoon.
both grand kids are sick. the grandson is officially on antibiotics for a throat infection. the granddaughter has been coughing all week long. both have runny noises. i'm just waiting to collapse from some ailment, too. i invited another gal pal from the neighborhood to join us for the barbecue but her husband had warned her about the rabbinical difficulties in making a barbecue on the holiday. she is getting ready to go to the states soon and i think she just really wanted to rest and diet away the remaining time here. to each his own.
we all woke up late this morning. my grandson usually wets the bed around 6:00 a.m. or so. i was shocked to see that it was already 8:30 a.m. the services start at 7:30 a.m. at the Sephardi shul. my son left around 9:15 a.m and came home to get the boy. they put all the boys under a huge tallis on simchat torah and bless them and they get a bag of goodies. they didn't make it to shul on time but the boy got the goodies anyway. i didn't get to see the kids under the tallis and i got down. i started judging my own kids for their lack of tradition. what a way to celebrate simchat torah with so little joy. i decided to pray by myself while i was waiting for the service to end.
we all went to the kiddush in the shul except for the daughter-in-law. by then i was calmer and in a better mood. after a few pieces of herring and a handful of cashews and pistachios, i was a happy camper. it started raining but ended pretty fast. i went home with my friend and granddaughter and the grandson stayed in shul with his dad. the weather cleared up enough to be able to grill. the steaks were still frozen and the coals weren't getting hot enough so my son started blaming me. i guess he had a few l'chaims at shul because he started being nasty. anyway, it all worked out. the big kids had words between them but it never escalated into a full fledged argument.
after lunch i took my grandson with me over to the chabad bomb shelter minyan to say the prayers for the departed souls of my parents. he was very good and not wild at all. we were there for about an hour and then we went home. the big kids went downstairs for an early evening nap and both little kids went to bed with me. somehow, after a lot of kicking and fussing and pushing, we all fell asleep for a short time. the big kids came upstairs to make havdallah and everyone went downstairs, once again. tomorrow is shabbat and i think that i might have enough leftover beef and meatballs to make it through the meals. i just need to make some new salads and some side dishes.
i should take down the sukkah tomorrow. i'll have the kids with me so it might be rough. it might also rain. we'll just have to see what happens. anyway there are no more holidays until chanukah. i think i feel relieved. we made it through the holidays. whoopee! i'm still a bit miffed about my girlfriend. 'let it go' as the popular song says, i guess. if my current life style isn't her cup of tea, so be it. different strokes for different folks. amen!