Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Evening

Whew, what a day. I had gone out at 8am to pick up the laundry and my breakfast begeleh, and then again to go find an Internet cafe where we could print something. We had reserved tickets for the Time Elevator, but needed the printed receipt. I had found two places on the web that said they had printing, but one was closed at that hour. I stopped in to a little art gallery to ask directions, and the women there (who spoke “the mameloshen” [mother tongue], English- usually that's what we call Hebrew) were kind enough to let me use their computer and printer!

I ended up in the store for about 45 minutes, making friends with the shop owner, Suri, a wonderful lady originally from New York. We traded miracle stories about our children. My story was about how when I was a teenager in Israel, we’d visited Ma’on Latinook, a home for children with DS, and it had made such an impression on me, and when I was creating the Weaning Ceremony for Sofia, I’d found reference to that place, which I had not heard about in 25 years!

Her story was cool: her son is adopted from Mexico (he’s in his 30s now). First, they had gone to adopt along with another lady, and had expected their son to go to that lady and they would have gotten hers. But the Mexican officials assigned them this way, and it turns out her son has the same birthday as her! Just after his Bar Mitzvah, he developed kidney failure. There was about 0 chance of her being a match, but ... not only was her blood type the same (and an uncommon type), but the antibodies matched by more than 50%. The doctor said that if he did not know them personally, he would have sworn from the testing that she was his birth mother. She was a perfect match!

So I returned home after an hour, with a new friend and some wonderful stories. We as a family did not get out until around noon. Stopped for some pizza and juice, and headed to the Time Elevator . It was very cool. Topol, the famous Israeli star (he played Tevya in the movie “Fiddler on the Roof”) was the star and narrator, which in itself was enough to bring me to tears. It was a motion-ride, pretending to plummet down underneath Jerusalem to Biblical times, and then travel through the centuries to modern day. Many moments of tears. This darn city brings out so much emotion!

Sofia LOVED it. I was worried she would be afraid, but not only did she keep her headphones on the whole time, she waved me off when I tried to protect her from jostling against the safety bar. She was very happy. I loved it, too, and I think the boys all enjoyed it. Micah had a lot of questions, starting with who Topol’s character was supposed to be. The first “story” in the film is about when King Solomon had to decide which woman was the mother of a new baby, so he ordered the baby split in half and the birth mother said the other woman could have him (so Solomon knew that was the birth mother, as she would not have wanted her son killed). According to the film, Solomon blessed the child with Eternal Life, so he could then be the narrator of this experience. The melding of Biblical myth and pure make-believe did not make sense to Micah.

After the Time Elevator, we headed to the Italian Synagogue & Museum, which was lovely. Then we went back to the art gallery I’d been to in the morning, and bought a few nice gifts and souvenirs. We got a copy of B√úNTING'S CLOVER-LEAF MAP, 1581 for us.

Then we walked more, eventually stopping for lunch at a Shwarma place on HaMalka (poor Micah is stuck with eating a lot of french fries when we go to meat places, since he does not like meat and is allergic to the hummus and tahini in the salads).

Meandered our way around the shopping area of Ben Yehuda Street and its branches. Sam found the tallit he wants for his Bar Mitzvah. The price was good (a little over $100US, but with no bag), and I found a lovely yarmulke for me - which unfortunately disappeared before we got home! Seriously, we have no idea where it could be. Sam and I raced back to the store, and the guy was kind enough to give me another similar one, although we could not find an exact match. I’m still upset about it.

Got a few little things - picked up some hair product requested by a friend from shul, got Sofia a kerchief (in a Princess bag, no less!), and some other little tchotchkes. Got home late (and then Sam and I had to run back for the kippah).

Made arrangements for tomorrow. We are taking a private tour to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. The guy is coming at 8am to pick us up. It will be much better this way - we can make sure to see what we want to see, and we can take things at our own pace. At a certain point (like after 4 people), bus tours start costing more than private anyway. And this way we will be sure to be back with plenty of time to prepare for the Bat Mitzvah party, which is in the evening.

We went out for a quick dinner well after 8pm, and I was really cranky and tired. Sofia fell asleep in her chair before she ate anything, and the rest of us could only eat half our meals, so we’ll have plenty for lunch tomorrow!

I’m still grouchy, because I just checked our home voicemail (love that Xfinity app for the iPhone!) and got sort of a nasty-gram from the public school Extended Day program. I need Sofia in Breakfast Bunch, so I can get the boys to school on time. I’d called the first week in August, but the woman who runs it was away. Several days after I called, someone else called back, and said she would be sure to have the other woman call me on Monday Aug. 8. Well, of course she called on Aug 9, about 2 hours before we left for the airport. She said she would email me the application information, but the email did not arrive until after we were at Logan, so I had not even opened it. I intended to take care of it when we returned next week.

Her voicemail was very ... not welcoming... and basically said that since she had not received a security deposit yet she assumed we did not need the service. I emailed her back, explaining the above, and thanking her “for making our transition to the public school community as easy and welcoming as possible.” Grr.

But now I’m wondering if there is any other way to work out mornings. And I really don’t want to be dealing with this right now.

So I have to go to sleep. Only took a few photos today, but I’m sure we’ll have PLENTY tomorrow!


UPDATE: Just got a nice apology email from the Extended Lady, acknowledging that she'd dropped the ball on this and had not taken appropriate notes, but that I should relax and enjoy vacation. Whew!