Ok, maybe not magical. Intense is probably more along the lines of adjectives that describe this phenomenon. Intense with pangs of guilt, and judgey-ness. Because you describe anything that happens in Northeast Philly without using the descriptor "judgey".
You see, my thoughts of childhood were always rife with memories of playing war in the backyard with the neighborhood boys, pretending I was treating a patient as a leading physician with the neighborhood girls, and living my life according to the tenets of Calvin and Hobbes before Bill Watterson even knew what a "transmogrifier" was. I even played a version of Calvinball,but I called it "Billy-Ball". Seriously.
But that's not how it works within the Russian Community. You see, if you're a child being raised by Russian immigrants, your parents traveled across the entire world to give you a better life, and you'd better live that better life exactly as your parents dictate, goddamn it, even if you turn into a miserable wreck. It's a life-long guilt trip, and nobody does guilt better than Russian Jews.
As Sammy grows older, and discussions stray away from the consistency of his diaper droppings, the conversations are starting to get more centered around what activities we're going to involve him in.
|I'm the third one from the left.|
But my in-laws are about as opposite as you can get. Their position is typical of the entire Russian immigrant community: the more classes and extracurricular activities the better. "Because WE never had these classes growing up, and we have decided for you that your future success will depend upon how many activities you've participated in before you graduated from diapers."
|This man is definitely not gay|
|"BC" stands for "Birth Control".|
There's also the worry that if he DOESN'T do these things, all of the other Russian parents and grandparents will look down on him, saying "Oh, look at Sam-a-yul over there, who is already three years old and does not know how to do multi-variable calculus! His family must not love or care about him. What is he going to be able to do with his life? He can't be a lawyer, or doctor, or financial professional, so he will obviously be a homeless drug-addict."
Ahh, Northeast Philadelphia, if it wasn't for all the shish-kabobs and vodka, I don't know if our relationship could last.