Saturday, August 10, 2013

When Worlds Collide

I'm so happy to be off work for two weeks. Not that I have anywhere to go. I usually take stay-cations. August is atrociously expensive everywhere and Hubby is busy with work. But I am happy to be away from the cookie jar across from my office which is filled with Pepperidge Farm cookies - both Brussels and Milanos. I begged the office manager to revert back to buying cheap nasty-tasting cookies so I wouldn't eat them, but these are irrestible and I've gained weight. Now I have 2 weeks to recuperate from my sugar addiction, have a healthy leisurely breakfast and a non-rushed dinner at home with some dinners/lunches out with friends. And I can't forget the grandkids. No - not the grandkids. See, I'm not the kind of granny that watches the kids for weeks while their parents fly off somewhere exotic, or the self-less grandma who just wants to be with the little ones, and then is exhausted and needs yet another holiday. Their other granny had my eldest grandkid of 6 over at her house for weeks on end during July but he wasn't bored because all his cousins were over visiting that granny as well. Besides, that granny never leaves the house. Ever. She's the type that stays home and cooks and cleans all day.

We were discussing the differences in culture over lunch one day - me, my daughters and my son-in-laws. I asked them why they were never interested in museums, in culture, in going out to festivals and why do they just eating schwarma on their evenings out. Why?

"The Israel Museum?" scoffed one son-in-law, who I thought had the potential to be more cultured than the rest. "It's full of leftists!" was his excuse why he doesn't step foot in there or the Bible Lands or any other museum.

I was furious - "What about the exhibit on Hasidim? huh? Were all the Hasidim leftists? How about the synagogue repicas? Why can't you come out of your narrow world."

I was getting really angry at their narrowmindedness, my daughters included.

And then I thought of a great idea which will make everyone happy. If my kids don't get it, maybe my grandkids will. I'm gonna take my grandkids, at least the oldest ones, to museums, fairs, etc. The science museum is great for kids, as is the upcoming Kite Festival at the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum has a two-hour tour discovering the Mystery of the Pyramids.

This past Friday I took my 6 year old grandkid to the First Station - the refurbished Turkish-era train station that had been neglected for 10 years or more. It had been open since June, but my kids don't know it even exists. It's a remarkable place with activities for kids, films, concerts, shows, food courts, restaurants, carts where designers sell their fantastic selection of handmade clothing and jewelery. We listed and danced to songs welcoming the Sabbath, ate an enormous portion of ice cream at Vaniglia's until it dripped down both our faces, and we just pointed fingers at each other and laughed, I bought him a ridiculously expensive balloon, shaped like a beagle, that "walked" when you put it on the ground and if he comes to my house on my day off, I'll make him his favorite food - pancakes. It's a food he always asks for when he comes over, even on a Friday night.

So, yes, I may not cook 1,000 dishes over Shabbat and stay home all day and all night while everyone comes to visit, but I will be the granny who will make sure the kids love the rich culture that Jerusalem has to offer.


wlotus said...

I'm surprised you have a 6yo grandchild already! I have read your blog for years, and I can remember when none of your kids were married.

Exposing your grandkids to culture is an excellent idea! At the very least, they will have wonderful memories of their grandma spending time with them. But maybe some of them will grow to appreciate culture and other cultures just like their grandma.

Ralf said...