When Patience Fails…A Brother Answers

I’m tired.

I’m overworked.

I’m under-appreciated.

I cook. I clean. I do laundry. I handle a bunch of clients. I manage a bunch of writers who handle a bunch of clients. I write proposals. I teach. I promote my company, technical writing in Israel, Israel in general. I organize national conferences and bake 600 cookies (shouldda been 800 but couldn’t keep going). I organized a bat mitzvah and did most of the cooking and baking and now I’m planning (okay, they’re doing most of it themselves, but I’m in pity-mode, so bear with me here) this upcoming wedding. And worst of all, Passover is coming and I HATE Passover.

Did I mention that I’m tired? I want to write the stories in my head and don’t have the time. I have a beautiful story I wrote…I want to share it with the world and don’t have the time. I taught until 8:00 last night and then put in another 3.5 hours to finish off the drafts of three documents and delivered them. Got home to find…well, never mind. I wanted to sleep. And if I’m complaining…it’s winter and I was really cold!

This morning, I wanted help. I wanted to sleep. But my husband was up late (he prefers to work late and sleep late…) and Aliza has crossing guard duty this week in her school so she had to be there even earlier. So I called her to make sure she was awake (family plan, free calls…communication in the 21st century). I wanted help making her lunch – there was no help to be had. As I dressed, I called my older daughter because I was supposed to drive her in and I wanted to make sure she was awake.

I called Shmulik – he and I drive in together, so I wanted to make sure he was awake and would be ready on time. I called Davidi – he came home last night because he’s now a counselor for a local youth group – to make sure he was awake and was going to go with us. I’m tired. I want to sleep not coordinate the world.

My husband wanted the Subaru because he’s got a project he’s doing today – he’s always been a fixer and now he fixes air conditioners in addition to being an amazing technical writer, engineer, and more. He’s tired, but this is my blog, so I get to complain…yes, I’m beginning to smile – see how therapeutic a blog is?

So, since my husband was taking the Subaru, I had to take the Honda – which I love, but which is not insured for Shmulik to drive and I don’t feel like driving. Aliza is 12 years old. I can’t believe that. I’m so used to 11 and 11 is still a little girl, but 12…that’s so much older than 11. Anyway, she loves to talk, to share, to explain. I’m tired. I know I’m jumping around here, but that too is something I just need to do.

Aliza came home from school yesterday and then with a friend, took a bus into Jerusalem and then came home and went to her youth group. I’m over-protective. I wouldn’t have let her take a bus with a friend into Jerusalem but I was teaching and she asked her father. I wasn’t so happy about that either but it wasn’t major and since nothing exploded and she did call me while she was in Jerusalem and since she got home safely and was proud of herself for the adventure, I really can’t harp on that.

So as I drove her to school with Shmulik sitting next to me and her in the back, Aliza began chatting about her youth group meeting and what they did and all I could think of is that it is Wednesday and the house is messy and I still have so much to do, never mind the additional stuff coming because of the wedding and Passover. And no one did the last few dishes last night, no one threw in any laundry, no one took out the garbage.

I cut her off…I did. I lost it and said what I really want to hear about is who’s going to help with the laundry and why the dishwasher wasn’t started (I did that this morning before I left).

She stopped talking and Shmulik jumped in, “I want to hear,” he said.

I already felt bad. “Trying to make me look bad?” I asked him quietly but with a smile, already realizing you can’t take out your life on a kid. It isn’t her fault I have deadlines and schedules and commitments.

“No, I wasn’t,” he said.

“Well, not bad,” I said with a smile and turned to Aliza, “I want to hear too.”

She’s 12…and needed to make me pay a bit. “Never mind.” So Shmulik went into his act, “Oh please, oh please” and I smiled and encouraged her too…and off she went. She had seen some films with the group, but hesitated to give too many details.

“Maybe I want to download them,” Shmulik said. Films watched by a bunch of 11 and 12-year olds? Not likely…

But it worked. And off she went. A “baby one”, she explained, and another one. I don’t remember the names. Shmulik said one was good. They chatted. I drove.

I’m tired. What I loved about this morning, what gave me such a good feeling, was how Shmulik realized what Aliza needed, when I couldn’t. My patience failed, and her brother answered. It’s impossible to be patient all the time, to find the right words, to say the right things. There are no perfect parents – or perfect children for that matter.

And there are no perfect spouses or perfect families – but what makes a family a good one, what makes it all so special, is when one begins to fall, the other is there to answer.

May God bless my beautiful husband, sons and daughters with life, with love, with health and prosperity – and with the sensitivity to answer when the other needs.

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