Tantrum Warehouse
Tact Free Since 2003

Mom Sadness

I get along with my parents. I adore my parents. I may gripe about how annoying they are and how they make me crazy but the only reason I know this is because I spend so much time with them. Most people can't really bitch about their parents because they move 3000 miles away from them. But I spend a lot of time with mine and my mother and I are really close.

This Jewish thing is upsetting her.

I knew it would be a big deal. But, funny thing, I BELIEVED my parents meant how they brought my sister and I up. That all people are equal. That God loves everyone. That we alone know what is best for ourselves and should make our decisions.

Apparently this is all bullshit.

I know I am being terribly unfair. I know I am. But I expect a lot from my parents, just as they expect a lot from me. And I just didn't expect my mother to be this way.

She is going to tell my dad we are converting while they are on vacation. It is better when she talks to him first because he and I have such a tumultuous relationship. So she is going to tell him and I will talk to him when he is calm and rational.

I expected this to be a big deal with my dad. Because my dad has a hard time when I do anything that is different than what he would do. This includes attending a women's college, liking the Cubs and buying a car made in Korea. But I also know that he will adjust and if he can't than that is his problem. I was pretty confident that he would be ok in the end.

Until my mother.

She asks me if we are really going to do it. I tell her that we are meeting with the Rabbi soon. It is a long process but yes, we are really doing it and this is what is best for us.

She and I are driving in her car at the time. We have just been shopping. We were in the children's department where I had to correct her half a dozen times that no, when she has grandchildren (at least my children) she will not be buying them EASTER BONNETS. I didn't mind reminding her. It is a change. I am sure that she has been imagining family holidays for a while now and this was a shock. She asks why we cannot celebrate Easter since we are going to do Christmas.

Well Mom, see we are going to explain to our kids about the secular part of Christmas and you are going to respect our wishes about no Jesus or we won't be doing that. But there is no real way to celebrate Easter without Jesus. And even if there was, I just don't think that it is appropriate. It is especially not appropriate to allow you to buy them an Easter bonnet to wear to CHURCH.

And then she freaks out because the kids won't have a baptism. Well, no MOM. That is when people become CHRISTIANS. My children will be Jews. I will be a Jew. If we have a boy he will have a bris.

What did she think we were doing? I can totally understand that this is upsetting to her. I am trying to make it less upsetting. We don't practice religion together now, I honestly didn't think that it would hurt her so much. To be honest, it is none of her business. But I am trying to be straight forward with her, trying to prepare her for what is coming. I don't want to hurt my family, but I have to do what is best for me. And for my family.

She really lost her shit when I was talking about my grandparents. I am trying to be kind, but perhaps I am being a coward, but I won't be telling my grandparents about this. Unless they ask. I will not lie. I refuse to be ashamed about what I am doing because it is nothing to be ashamed of. I can only imagine one circumstance that they would ask (since they try to ignore that I don't go to church now) and that is if we have a baby they might ask about the baptism. I won't lie. If they ask me when it is I will say that we aren't having one. If they ask why I will tell them why. And if one person tries to baptise my baby behind my back I will never let them see that child again.

My mother was terrified that I was going to tell my grandparents. Terrified. And I said that if they thought differently of J and me because of this than that was their problem. Because I am not going to do something I don't believe in to make them happy.

And she says they won't think less of you.

My mother thinks that my converting means that she has failed as a parent. She thinks of me as a failure. It doesn't matter what I have accomplished. I own my own home. I have a good job. I have a great marriage. I am a good person. I want to be a Jew. And so my mother is a failure.

I don't think that anything anyone has ever said to me has ever hurt me so much in my entire life. I don't even think she knew what she was saying. I doubt that she thought about how that would hurt me. But that doesn't really matter. She can't change it now.

It is amazing to me that in 2004 my mother thinks she is a bad parent because I don't believe in Jesus. That she thinks I will burn in hell. That nothing else that I have ever done or will ever do matters. MY MOTHER. Who has always supported me and loved me and thought I was wonderful.

Imagine what my father will do.

6:43 a.m. :: comment ::
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