it is 8:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. I didn't sleep a wink last night. I feel trapped. I absolutely cannot stand my son and his wife anymore. I want them to leave. I have such animosity towards them that I'm sick. I don't want to hear them downstairs nor do I want to see them leaving for their day. I am not talking to them because I fear coming off as a raving maniac. it takes all of my strength not to start ranting at them and telling them to get the hell out of my house for good.
they do not allow their kids to come upstairs into my house. they will send them upstairs through the front entrance for matches, or hot water, or for my havdalah candle but they are no longer allowed to visit me or play inside my house. I am being treated like the crazy old landlady who lives upstairs and the grandkids are being trained not to bother her. yes, I'm the dotty old landlady who doesn't get paid rent. I did tell my son that I was going to lock the door between the floors after he told me that my family was not allowed to visit me downstairs or use their pool. I never said that my house was off limits to the grandchildren.
I know we are in desperate need of borders but this is just so wrong. I am being passive aggressive and I hate myself for it. the children are behaving like changelings. they are always at the Sephardi clan now and they are not the same children I cared for last month. in my house, they played with lego or watched television and drew pictures. they ran around at the playground. they did not run through my house screaming like banshees.
the kids escaped upstairs for a moment on Shabbat to see me outside. they said they had permission to talk to me. they begged me to come downstairs to join them on their picnic. my grandson carried down a small stool for me to sit on. all of my plastic chairs were removed from the downstairs area at the advent of the summer to make way for the fancy patio furniture. as I have mentioned, there are only 4 chairs in the downstairs now. my son recently brought a couple of my plastic chairs down for his drinking buddies on Friday evenings but they are set aside away from the glamorous patio area.
when my son came home from synagogue I went back upstairs. my grandson begged me to join them for supper. he ran downstairs to beg his father, my son, to allow me to come for Shabbat. I decided to make an effort to make peace. my daughter-in-law and I wished each other a 'Shabbat shalom' but it was all show. neither one of us meant it. the big kids had a table full of salads and my grandson eagerly explained that some of the salads were home made and the rest were bought from catering. he told me that the food was delicious and then added that my food was also delicious. such a diplomat and he's not yet 7! my granddaughter insisted on sitting on my lap throughout the meal to her parents' disdain. I couldn't persuade her to sit in her place.
in my home everyone has a fixed place. but we are no longer in my home. the grown up kids seemed very nervous around me. as usual, no one spoke to me. my son did mention how much he paid for the kids' outfits but that was the extent of the communication. it was brutally hot downstairs because the kids had left the electric hotplate on and didn't plugged in a fan. I was very uncomfortable. they spent the afternoon in their pool.
I wanted to tell the daughter-in-law that she could put the electric hotplate on a timer but I kept quiet. I had nothing to say to them, as usual. at one point I got some sauce on my granddaughter's leg and the daughter-in-law wiped it off. once again, I came off as a crazy old lady eating her dinner with a kid on her lap. my granddaughter was speaking to me in English and serving me salads. she would never do that in my home but she desperately wanted to connect with me. she hasn't been in my home in a month. and they haven't been at my Shabbat table in a month, too.
I normally feed them early in the day so they aren't always hungry at dinner time. they get fed real food. I usually give them chicken cutlets or ravioli. their mother gives them candy and treats right before dinner. I know I sound like a typical mother-in-law but I really tried for 7 years to support her. now I actually hate her. I think I always did. during the Shabbat meal, the kids were playing on the floor under the table. they never did this at my home. they were always in the playroom building lego. I must have looked very disapproving. I couldn't wait to leave.
my grandson begged me to sit on one of the patio chairs with him. before I was banned from my own backyard, the kids and I sat every day at the patio table together. we had our meals and treats there and even drew pictures there. I always kept the area clean. the only time I left a mess was that one Friday afternoon when my niece and family came to have a pool date. I ran upstairs for a moment to give my daughter-in-law's cousin the necessary things she needed to fry the chicken cutlets in my kitchen. I ran around finding her the correct bowls, and frying pans, and even gave her my spices.
I, of course, had the intention of going back downstairs to clear the patio table of the soya franks and French fries and pretzels that I had put out for all the kids. the daughter-in-law was already cleaning up as I escorted my niece and kids to a taxi. all hell broke out when my son got back. did her cousin clean up my work space after she cooked? no she did not. and the daughter-in-law cooked the fish downstairs on the brand new electric burners that I bought for her.
I sat outside for a moment after the Shabbat meal with my grandson and son. the daughter-in-law didn't come outside to join us. I went back upstairs and then she came outside. I sat in my patio area upstairs and the young family sat at their fancy patio furniture together. no one invited me to join them for lunch, third meal, or havdalah. I sat by myself and thought about how much I am alone.