An Unanticipated Forehead Hickey

An Unanticipated Forehead Hickey

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 I never predicted that I would be using a title with the words “forehead” and “hickey” next to each other, but that’s pretty much the most accurate way to describe what happened to my daughter, Lulu, when she discovered the “gag gift” my mother-in-law gave me last month: It’s a mini-plunger to be used to hold up an iphone or mp3 player; or so we thought.  As it turns out, it was literally the gift that left its mark.  <Pun intended>.

Living in the Midwest, Lulu and I rarely see our East Coast family.  And I was totally psyched to show her off: how she’s matured, grown and developed into an overall good kid over the past year.  So you can imagine my surprise when upon looking at my “angel” at 6:30 a.m. on the day that we are supposed to go on our little adventure, Lulu had what can only be described as a 2 inch round hickey on her forehead.

Long story short, she was playing with my little plunger so much and for so long that it left a nasty big hickey right in the middle of her forehead. (If you want to see a picture of it, forget it.  I was so mortified, that I refused to allow anyone to take a picture of her until the bruise dissipated.)

You might be asking, at this point in my story, where was I when this bit of mischief was occurring? Doing the typical mom things: running around the house and getting us packed up for vacation. So, when it finally registered that Lulu was walking around with the plunger on her face, it was too late to undo the damage.  Luckily she had about a week before her father was flying to meet us and he would witness first hand Lulu’s handiwork.  Perhaps, I wouldn’t face the parental inquisition after all. At least not from her father…my parents were another story.

As soon as my parents saw the mark they asked the appropriate questions: “What the hell did she do to her face?” and “Why weren’t you watching her?”  Yeah, like she’s 2 and I don’t have other things crossing my mind at 6:00 in the morning besides whether or not my precocious 7 year old will decide that her forehead is the perfect spot for my iphone plunger?  My sisters just laughed at me and at her.  One sister volunteered that rubbing lemon juice on it might help the bruise go away a bit faster or at the very least, Lulu would smell really nice all week.

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Fast forward a month and I have recently broken out with adult acne.  The kicker?  Yup, I have a MASSIVE raised and quite red pimple on, you guessed it, my forehead in approximately the same spot where Lulu had her hickey.  When she saw the mark last week, Lulu had the nerve to ask me “Mommy, were you playing with Grandma’s plunger again? I thought that we agreed playing with was a bad idea?”
Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?  (And no, I am not taking pictures of what we now affectionately call my third eye and posting them on my blog.)  I mean, would you?

Aleph isn’t Tough; It’s Impossible

Alan Klien: I suck! They’re gonna take away my Yamulkha! 
Rabbi Jacob “Jake” Schram: No you don’t. You don’t suck. 
Alan Klien: I suck. 
Rabbi Jacob “Jake” Schram: Yes, all right, you do. You suck. But that’s ok, you’re supposed to suck. This isn’t a talent contest, it’s a rite of passage

Keeping the Faith, 2000

For the past year, I have been taking Hebrew lessons.  Bet you didn’t know that I was Jewish did you?  Until I decided to join a Synagogue and take Hebrew lessons, I wasn’t sure if I was really Jewish either. Currently, I can still recite the Lord’s Prayer faster than I can come up with the proper words for the Shema.

A little background on my situation: I was raised “without religion.”  My mother did insist that I attend the High Holiday services at the local Synagogue every year in an effort to please my grandmother.  So, year after year, I dressed up in my finest to sit, stand, sit again and recite prayers in an ancient language that I neither spoke nor understood.  I knew why I was going (to please my grandmother) but was anxious for what I perceived as an annual form of torture to end. And it did when I was in the 8th grade and REFUSED to get a Bat Mitzvah (coming of age celebration in Judaism).  Of course I came up with a valid reason: the only reason that people get a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is for the massive number of presents and the party.  Being a declared Quaker (no joke), I reasoned that NOT getting the Bat Mitzvah was my way to turning my back on materialism and embracing the “simple life”.

PULEASE!  If you think that I actually believed that crap then you don’t know me very well.  The truth?  I was lazy and scared of failure.  So, I opted for the so-called moral high ground and refused to do the work.  Lucky me right?

Fast forward 20+ years and I am married (to a Jewish man) and have a child who is preparing to start Hebrew school in the fall.  As I stood watching my 13 year old nephew read his Torah portion last June, I was hit with remorse:  Remorse that I didn’t learn Hebrew, remorse that my husband had to recite certain prayers on my behalf because I could not read the language and remorse that I had missed this rite of passage. I knew that it was time for me to reclaim my faith.  (How dramatic, right?)

Back to reality and I now understand why we “force” our children to start Hebrew school when they are 8 years old or earlier: Hebrew is just plain hard to learn.  It’s almost impossible to learn as an adult.  I also have a learning disability that makes it even harder to differentiate similar appearing letters from each other.  So why do I put myself through this torture?

Because it is NOT a talent contest.  It is a rite of passage and one that I desperately want.  Unlike in my teens when I went to services to please my grandmother, I am going because I feel an intrinsic need to belong to something that is greater than me.  I want to be an active participant and I don’t want my daughter to call me a hypocrite.  My child is now old enough to understand that I am struggling to learn Hebrew.  When it is her turn to study, memorize, recall and recite, perhaps she will remember that she is not alone in her struggles to succeed.  That I recently stood in those shoes, faced my fears of failure and worked through them.

In any case, the Bat Mitzvah is scheduled for May 26, 2012, which incidentally is also my 40th birthday.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Do you?