We spent the last weekend with a couple who is in the process of choosing pre-schools. The pre-school that they are considering is an Ivy League feeder pre-school. No, really. We discussed the merits of said pre-school and its traditional approach to academics. I think I remember most of the conversation, but at one point, I started to glaze over as I drifted away and led myself to my happy place. In my mind, my fingers were wedged into my ears, and I was singing “La La La – I can’t hear you!”
Last night I had the strangest dream. I sailed away to China in a little row boat to…no, that wasn’t it. I dreamt that Asher was in high school, and he was dating this Jewish girl, but the girl’s parents were none too pleased.
Parents: “What kind of name is Di Maggio for a Jewish boy?”
Girl: “He’s Jewish! Both of his mothers are Jewish AND the donor is Jewish!”
Parents: “Both mothers?! Donor?! What in God’s name are you talking about?”
Girl: “He has two mothers, and his birth mother used an anonymous donor from a sperm bank, and the donor is Jewish.”
Parents: “Sha! What are you meshugena? Your future in-laws are gay homosexuals, and your future husband and father to your unborn children is from God knows where?! Could you break our hearts into smaller pieces? Next, you’ll be telling us he didn’t go to an Ivy League school!”
Girl: “He didn’t go to an Ivy League school.”
Mother grabs her heart and collapses into her chair. Father clutches Mother’s shoulders to keep her from losing consciousness altogether.
Girl: “He didn’t go to any ivy league school because he didn’t go an Ivy League feeder pre-school.”
Parents: “What kind of Jewish parents – gay homosexuals or not – do not put their Jewish children in an Ivy League feeder pre-school? Why, it’s practically criminal. And the boy? Is he some sort of charity case to you?”
Girl: “He’s the love of my life. He is good and kind. He is charitable and learned and well-travelled. He treats me like a queen. He loves me so much that he cut my name into his forearm with a razor blade. Do you know how much he must love me with a name like Shoshannah Rivka? So he’s a cutter. So?! Ever since his mothers moved to the suburbs of New Jersey and forced him to go to public schools, he has suffered. But he has learned to manage his pain. He sees his cognitive-behavioural therapist twice a week and he’s on Wellbutrin and Cymbalta. As long as he can spend a few hours each day in a dark room with his guitar, he’s able to work through his depression through song. He’s written me the most beautiful ballads.”
I wake up in a cold sweat. I run through the list in my head. I list all the famous people I know who credit their success to poor beginnings. I breathe in. I breathe out. I make a mental note. Deposit more money in the children’s therapy fund. I go back to sleep. Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride.