Sunday, January 29, 2006
Shabbos went off without a hitch. I worked tirelessly to make sure that my house wasn't totally insane before candlelighting. Chaya was on mid-winter break from school, so the fact that I didn't have to do carpool added at least another hour to my prep time.
The lady who came spent a lot of time playing with the kids, which freed me up to check vegetables and prepare salads.
When dinner came around, she mentioned her mother. "You have a mother at home? I wish you would have brought her!" I said. "Oh, no, she's mentally ill." With the exception of Yaakov quizzing Chaya on the weekly parsha, her mother was the topic for the entire meal. She went on and on about her mom's anxiety and paranoia, how she always felt people were following her and trying to harm her. How she had written letters to the FBI about it.
I felt totally uncomfortable. A lot of the subject matter I felt was inappropriate for my kids, but I couldn't stop her. I tried to change the topic, but to no avail. At one point I gently said, "I think you're scaring Chaya," but Yaakov answered, "Nah, she's just curious." I wanted to kill him.
I felt this was a tikkun for me in some way. When I was first exploring shabbos, I was a raging liberal. The things that came out of my mouth - in frum homes! - oy va voy. I'm ashamed to think about it. I'm grateful to the families who put up with me, I hope they have a lot of nachas now.
P.S. The mock-crab salad was great.