Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Keeping The Faith

My current version
of snake oil
So I finally Googled my stomach pain symptoms (I hadn't before because I didn't want to inflame my natural hypochondria, although really, I was already imagining the worst, so why not?), and it looks as though I have sludge in my gall bladder (not to be too technical or anything). Lemon juice, LOTS of water, castor oil compresses, and lecithin supplements are recommended. I've spent half my day in the kitchen and the other half in the bathroom.

So. Much. Fun.

But at least I have hope that someday I might be able to eat somewhat normally again.

Today, Susie and I went out to buy some challah for Rosh Hashanah. Now, remember, Susie is the youngest child in our interfaith family. Many years ago (20, to be exact), we belonged to an interfaith families group at a local synagogue. I took Theo and Anna (and David, but he was only a baby) to a challah-making workshop there. We even had a picture of Theo in the local paper, working on his little braided loaf.  Over the years since, we've colored in placemats for Chanukah and kids' Haggadot for Passover. We've spun dreidels. We've made hamantaschen.

What I'm saying here is, I've made an effort to ensure that the kids are aware of their heritage on both sides of the family - Catholic AND Jewish. And when my parents were alive, this was easy - they'd visit and celebrate the Jewish holidays, etc., with us. I was really rocking the interfaith lifestyle, is what I'm saying, even if I did complain a lot. (Hey, you try navigating 2 major holidays every December. It's not for the weak, I'll tell you that.)

I hadn't realized, as the older kids left, and my parents (aka the Jewish side) passed on, that I was missing the mark. Not until today, that is, when I said to Susie, "It's Rosh Hashanah! Let's go pick up some challah to dip in honey." And she said, "What's challah?"

Yeah. Major Jewish parent fail. Oy vey.

Excellent for

All the way to the bakery, I alternated between mentally chastising myself for my shortcomings as a parent and reminding myself that, hey, I have 2 adult children who are currently living IN ISRAEL. I'm not sure you're allowed to average out the religious upbringing of your offspring that way, but it will have to do. The long and the short of it is, Susie is growing up in a completely different family than did her oldest siblings, and I need to accept that.

But first, let me beat myself over the head with this mezuzah some more. It just feels right, in a Jewish guilt sort of way.


  1. I think your words from yesterday apply here. Parenting is basically guilt for every major decision. Raising an interfaith family has to be among the master degree programs in parenting university anyway.

  2. Evict your gallbladder ASAP. Sludge doesn't leave; gallstones don't leave. Until the moving van arrives, though, very-low-fat eating is your best defense. In the meantime, happy Rosh Hashanah.

  3. Jewish guilt, Catholic guilt... at least you're keeping the guilt going, right? We're just your basic Protestant variety in my house and the youngest is also being raised in a completely different family (or more accurately, he is raising himself).
    Happy Rosh Hashanah!