It’s not called being selfish if I want to go over to a friend and not bring some kids along with me
I love love love my nieces and nephews. I really do. And I love when everyone comes for Yom Tov. But… I do wish my siblings and their kids (and sometimes my mother!) would understand my need for occasional privacy and downtime. Sometimes I don’t mind when nieces sleep in my room, but sometimes — like when the house is packed the whole Pesach — it can get challenging to never have my own space. Please knock before you come in!
Watching my father with my nieces and nephews is hilarious to me. To me he’s my (kinda old, I’ll admit) father, and even though my older siblings think I’m spoiled and have no rules, my parents are my parents. But they turn to mush with my niece just a few years younger than me! No, it doesn’t bother me, I happen to think it’s funny!
It’s not called being selfish if I want to go over to a friend and not bring some kids along with me. Yes, I know I’m outside schmoozing with friends and you want your kids watched in the backyard. Sometimes I do it, and sometimes I don’t, but please don’t try to make me feel guilty if I’m not babysitting for you all afternoon.
After last Pesach’s horribly lonely, quiet, COVID-lockdown Yom Tov, I really appreciated having the house fill up again once you were allowed to come, and the first time I stepped on a Lego after our lockdown I actually yelled out, “I’m so happy there are kids here!” as I clutched my foot in agony. I wouldn’t trade this family time for anything!
Can we be honest? I’m human, and a little appreciation goes a long way. You guys all move in for Yom Tov, the place is flying, I’m expected to be on call all of Yom Tov plus help Mommy with cleanup, table setting, salad chopping. I know it’s hard for some of you to pitch in (although, if you don’t mind my saying so, it wouldn’t kill you to pick up a broom or chop some cucumbers…) and while it’s nice that some of you (some!) remember to say thank you to me, the times that one or two of you actually bought me a gift went a really long way in making me feel happy to put myself out for you again. It was nice not to be taken for granted!
(Originally featured in Teen Pages, Issue 854)
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