Well meaning people?

I wasn’t sure what to name this post. I’m being optimistic when I title it “Well meaning people” because I’m not always convinced that these people are actually well meaning, or if they want to sabotage things.

Recently – as in, the last few months – some people (not just one, but a few) have told me that my children are worried and scared. I’ve been informed that my kids are upset, unhappy and anxious. When I ask these people to elaborate I am told that it’s because I (never “you plural”, always just aimed at me) am taking them away from life as they know it, and that it isn’t fair to move to Israel when the children are so against it. My response to those people is usually something along the lines of “We, my husband & I as a team, are doing what we believe is best for our children’s future. We understand that right now they are unhappy about it, but we believe that they will one day thank us for it”. And I move right along, because frankly, if I attempt to have a more in depth conversation around the subject with the people concerned it may end badly.

These individuals are not the only ones, however. So called friends, adults, have asked my kids how they feel about our move, and when the answer leans to the negative, they follow up with “why?” My kids aren’t able to fully articulate why they don’t want to move to Israel, but suffice to say, they have never set foot in the country, have no idea what to expect, and they’re worried.  I’d be more concerned about them if they were really gung-ho and raring to go. Some people are smart enough to give a sympathetic smile and leave it at that. Others, sadly, are not so savvy.

I’ve had people ask my son directly “are you scared about going into the army?” and when he answers that he sometimes is, they go on to either tell him that it’s nothing to be scared about (hello! Do not diminish his very real fear!) or that he should be proud that he will be serving in the IDF (Really? You’re going to make him feel bad for being scared?).

Listen up people, making a big move with our family is not a decision we take lightly. We did not just wake up one day and say “ok, let’s move to Israel”. It’s been years in the making. 15 years to be exact. It’s normal that my children should be concerned and scared and worried and sad. And don’t for one moment think that we are not taking their emotions seriously. Of course we are. Just because I brush off their feelings in front of you, don’t think that we don’t discuss their very legitimate fears when we are together as a family. Don’t be so naive to think that we’re ignoring the challenges that they will have as a result of this move.  And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t undermine my kids’ feelings to them, or to me.

This is a classic example of “you have no idea what goes on behind closed doors”, but rest assured, all is well, and we are helping our children cope with their feelings in the privacy and comfort of our own home.

To those of you who are truly looking out for us, thank you – I know you do mean well, but think twice when you get answers you’re not expecting from a child.

To the rest of you, know that it’s working against you. All the kids have complained individually about things you’ve said, and they simply no longer want to spend much time with you. Keep that in mind, as our time here grows limited – don’t spoil what we still have here.

Shabbat Shalom



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mark
    May 16, 2014 @ 17:07:58

    People ACTUALLY said things like that?!?!

    They aren’t well-meaning, they are a$$holes who like to stick their noses where they don’t belong. It’s pretty well-known that you don’t tell others how to raise their kids or how to deal with their kids (unless asked, of course), or how they ought to plan their lives. Sheesh!


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