Monday, September 13, 2004

Yesterday I had a fight with my ex-husband the like of which we have not had for years. And it left me badly upset and shaken. I was upset even this morning. But you know, a quick phone call to your lawyer has a way of making things look up.

I had asked him to take T and C on Wednesday night instead of Thursday so I could take Sam to Columbia for Rosh Hoshana Wednesday night and Thursday and not hurry back Thursday night.

You are going to take him out of school. For Rosh Hoshanah.

Yes, it's the Jewish New Year. It's one of the most important holidays of the year.

He replied that he would look at his calendar. He called me back later on my cell phone, and I was in the parking lot of our local grocery store. He didn't want to talk about this in front of the boys.

But it is not right of you, Jen, to involve the children while you play Jew. We are not Jews. You and I were both raised in religions that celebrated the divinity of Christ. I know you are searching, but the boys are being raised Christian, and this is too important for you to confuse them while you figure things out. I'm not an anti-Semite. I wouldn't care if they wanted to marry a Jewish girl. But I don't want my children raised Jewish. You said you weren't going to raise them Jewish.

I said I knew they couldn't formally convert to Judaism without both of our permission and I knew you would never agree. But that doesn't mean I am not going to teach them about what is important to me.

I can't even recount the entire conversation, but it wasn't as calm as I have laid it out. I was interrupting him and yelling and slamming my open hand against the steering wheel. I opened my door and smoked a cigarette. I told him, "I was raised in a cult and you told me repeatedly that I wasn't a Christian so you want it, you got it! I am NOT a Christian. And I guess you should have chosen their mother more carefully!"

Jen, we aren't Jews. They don't even have a community up here. I am trying to give them a community. We read the Bible together every night. ...

And so on. I love how suddenly I am part of "We." Well, guess what? The children are not baptised. And I will not permit it. They are no more Christian than Jewish. They will choose when they are adults.

And, yes, I am furious, I am beyond pissed off that I can't have an experience of every member of my family belonging to one faith when we go sit on a pew.

But Jews had to practice in secret for centuries, were forced to convert against their will, so their children were never openly Jewish. I don't have much to bitch about, really.

Idecided not to fight with Mark about this. I am not taking Sam to Columbia. We will stay here and celebrate Rosh Hoshanah as a family in our home.And I will figure out whether I want to buy tickets only for Yom Kippur.

But I called my lawyer because my dad said, "Don't push this with him. I think you know that. You don't want him to haul you into court."

Excuse me?

Well, Mark has to remain informed, and he can voice an objection. That is IT. The same goes for me.

I don't want my children to be hostages in a religious war. But I am not going to be bullied by that asshole anymore. He is very good at it, having made it is professional psychological specialty for more than ten years. He really got under my skin.

But a good night's sleep and a ten second phone call all make the world a lot clearer.

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