K

ivi closed the door softly as he came in from Maariv.

“Hey.” He smiled. “What’s up?”

Malky was sitting on the couch scrolling through her phone, and he could tell that she was trying to look nonchalant. There was something she wanted to say.

“Kivi, do you know Rabbi Manheimer, you know, from that new school?”

He put down his hat and hung up his jacket. “Huh? Do I know him? Not really. I mean, I know who he is and all that, he’s close to your father, I think your father gave a new wing or something. He was at the chasunah.”

Manheimer probably had a child in shidduchim, he figured, since Malky had been at a shidduch meeting that night.

Kivi was about to go find something to eat but there was something in her silence that put him on alert. “What is it? Why do you want to know?”

She looked uncomfortable. “Nothing. Just wondering.”

It wasn’t nothing.

He sat down next to her. “Come on, Malk, why?”

He looked away when he saw tears in her eyes and started to run his fingers through his hair, unsure of what to say.

“Malk. Talk to me. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.” She turned to look at him. “Just that Mendy’s morah called me tonight.”

“Okay.” He held her gaze.

She swallowed, fighting back more tears.

“She gave me this whole spiel — he’s so sweet, such a delightful yingele, all that stuff. Then she’s like, ‘Mrs. Denburger, I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to have your son evaluated.’ ”

“Big deal, Malk, lots of kids get evaluated. Read the magazines. Probably every kid does at some point.”

It was as if he hadn’t spoken. “And I could tell she was busy feeling bad for me, I can imagine her telling her husband, ‘I had to break it to Malky Denburger that her son has issues today, it was horrible,’ and her voice was like all soft and patronizing.”

“Forget her, who cares what she said, what’s l’maiseh? What did she say about Mendy?”

“She was very vague. She said summer is coming, and it’s the perfect time to deal with these things, before the new year. She said she sees some aggressive behavior and a few signs of hyperactivity and extreme inattentiveness. She was soooo reassuring.” Malky imitated the voice: “Of course this has nothing to do with parenting, Mrs. Denburger, it’s from Hashem, and it’s no big deal.”

“It’s takeh no big deal,” Kivi said. “Which kid isn’t a bit jumpy these days? I don’t need her to tell us that Mendy is an overexcited little guy. So we’ll deal with it.”

“Kivi, of course it’s a big deal. I called Mommy.”

You called your mother before we discussed it. He didn’t say the words, but he frowned.

She caught it. “What, you were learning, I wasn’t going to bother you, and I was speaking to her anyhow. It just came out.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 727)