I spent yesterday morning trying to get Yonah get over his first major hangover while also trying to help my daughter figure out alternative feminine hygiene products.
On Friday there was a birthday party at our congregation, that involved several February birthdays. Yonah was one of the birthday people. Another was a lovely Russian, Gavriil, who, like many of our Russian friends, likes to use vodka to celebrate. Good, quality, very nice vodka. Not too much, just enough to have a good mood, and get Yonah tipsy. We really can’t blame him for Yonah trying some other alcoholic drinks, not knowing that sticking to vodka would have been his best bet. So my boy came home delightfully tipsy, and I learnt a whole lot of the content of certain corners of the Internet than I ever thought I would. Our Yonah is a chatterbox when slightly intoxicated.
Saturday morning he learnt how to cure a hangover. The first step is: make sure there is Aspirin in the house where you are planning to wake up. We never have Aspirin at home. Aspirin makes me and my biological offspring sick. So I always forget to buy it. The older boys of legal drinking age have a little first aid box of their own, but they, too, were out. Of course it being the Shabbat nothing nearby was open to get the magic pills. So lots of water, eggs and orange juice was his therapy. And he wanted to know what he was babbling about the night before. He was also very apologetic and wondering if I was eternally embarrassed of him.
“You must regret adopting me.”
Oh how wrong he was. Before I could have explained that to him, his sister stormed through the door with her son on her arm, and as a greeting she said, “Dad, you have to help me pick out some menstrual cups!” After I found my voice after the initial shock, I just reminded her that she was just at her other family’s, where, you know, she actually has a mom and an older sister, and she could have stayed longer and ask…. and then she said, “I couldn’t possibly talk to them about topics like this!”
So I went on to making a very strong espresso for Yonah, find the last Advil Ultra Forte for him, while giving Bella ideas about what to Google, and listened to a rant about uncomfortable tampons, the never properly working tampon and condom dispensers–to which Yonah added that there is a tampon dispenser in the guys’ bathroom in this one club he has been with Yehiel–and that they never have change when you need it and did I know menstrual cups came in purple?
There I was, on the couch, between two teenagers, who have turned my world upside down, and who believe that I can fix all the hurt in their lives, simply because I’m dad, and I must know the best remedy for hangovers, even though I’ve never been drunk and I must know what the best feminine hygiene products are on the market, even though I’m a man. If I had the kind of power and knowledge they ascribe to me, I could make sure wrestling stays an Olympic sport!
Of course they are mad at me when I just don’t understand how hard it is to be a teenager, when I don’t want them to do something or when I want them to do something–sometimes the same thing in the span of a few hours. Of course they think I know nothing and I’m seriously outdated and hopelessly old, but they graciously forgive me for my shortcomings. And then I find myself debating whether Mooncups or Diva cups are the better investment, and I find them curled up next to me on my couch as I read and they recover, and I am loving that they tell me about the weird stuff online, their desire to be crunchy, down to earth and hip mothers. I love it when they tell me their failures, and I love it when they stand up again and again. They think I did something to help. I didn’t.
They just let me love them.