Wednesday, July 05, 2006

They Get to Play…We Get a to have a Serious Nervous Breakdown

They day before yesterday, my daughter-in-law phoned. Here is the conversation:

“Bubbie, pray!”
“Honey, what happened?”
“Nothing, everything’s all right. It’s just that your grandson (who just turned four) started day camp and they’re all going on a tiul…trip…to the swimming pool. Pray, Bubbie!”

Ah, as Mel Brooks, the 2,000 Year Old Man said… “We mock the things we are to be.”

When my brother and I were particularly trying, our mom used to say in Yiddish…you should only have twelve just like you. (Du zolst nor hobben tvelf vie dir alayn). Actually, he was a wonderful boy...still is. The Jewish Curse she aimed at me.

As I grew up and had my own children I understood more and more what my mom meant. It’s not that kids are bad…it’s that they are kids…and kids reach an age when they aren’t an arm’s length away… and the umbilical cord only reaches so far.

Not true! I discovered a magical umbilical cord. It’s called a cellular phone. Yup. When they came out I bought one for my daughter and told her if she wanted to keep it, I would pay all the bills on two conditions. One, that she has so much free phone time and after that it comes out of her allowance. And two, that if it is ever turned off it comes back to me.

That phone was my line to her whenever I got terrified and needed to know she was safe.

Over the years everyone got phones. And here in Israel as the bombs started going off in the cities, the age of kids carrying phones started at first graders.

Personally, I carry three. Don’t laugh. See the first one I bought because of my business. I had a learning center for learning disabled kids for fifteen years until the intifada put us out of business. I’ll tell you that story some time.

Then the competition came out with a deal. I got a second phone for free…okay Moses, I’ll take ten...and not only was it free but they also offered six free phone numbers. I quickly counted my family on my fingers and grabbed the second phone. Okay, okay, within two months the free numbers weren’t free anymore and the contract I signed was for three years…don’t ask…so now I was shlepping two of them around. One for the business and one for the family.

Then I started working at my new job and they gave me a third phone.

Finally my youngest said, “Imma, this is nuts. Put a voice message on the old business phone with your other phone number and leave one of the phones at home.”

Such a smart boy. Yahooooooooooo. Freedom.
This past winter, my youngest, the ‘such a smart boy’, went on a quest to South America for three months and the west coast of the USA for almost another two.


“Honey, are you taking an international cell phone with you?”
“No, Imma. I’m not.”
“Okay. You’re not?”
“No, Imma.”
“I’ll email, and we’ll talk online.”

Cordless. The kid was going off into the world, cordless. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

So, I did what all mothers do in that situation. I had a serious nervous breakdown. Silently. I mean I figured, what good would it do for me to have a stroke, G-d forbid, and the kid’ll come home fine and I’ll be bakaked forever.

A dear, dear friend in Canada wrote and told me her grandson is coming to Israel for the summer with a group.

So being a good friend, I gave her my cell phone number, my house number, and my serious nervous breakdown. I mean what are friends for???

Actually she had her own s.n.b. and didn’t need mine. The kid’ll be fine. But go tell that to a Bubbie!!!

Back to my daughter-in-law.

“Bubbie! What’ll I do when he has to go in the army?”
I said, “Don’t worry honey. We’ll get him a cell phone.”

And then I prayed.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.


At 5:10 PM, Anonymous John said...

Another great smile-on-my-face piece. These snippets-of-life views are great!

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous the guv said...

At last, a portion of a topic I can't relate to. Even when you wrote of fortune telling and camels, I could draw upon personal experiences in order to fully appreciate your on-going saga.

I have one cell phone that languishes in one of my purses. Some where. Nobody knows it's number, and, frankly, neither do I. Why, it hasn't been recharged since I don't know when. I pay a monthly bill for it, but, with the exception of the time my land line wasn't working for three days and I HAD to rely on it, I've never used the sucker to contact a soul. But then, my offspring don't live in the same city as I do ( One of them doesn't even share a continent with me ), and I don't live in a country that is constantly plagued by fire and brimstone.

So then, the need to have 38 operating cell lines, I can't relate to. The almost-neurotic need to keep tabs on my loved ones ? Now you're playing my song !

The Guv

At 2:37 AM, Anonymous the dear friend said...

I don't know where to start...I've read a few of the latest have the weirdest ability to make me laugh (OUT LOUD)and cry, seconds later. I'm trying to figure out how to read the earlier ones...have your friend, I can't be a total dummy! Keep those letters coming!


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