Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

DMCs: Tatty’s Girl

As told to Leah Greenburg

I was on my best, most helpful behavior around Sarah, but I could feel with a certainty that Sarah didn’t like me from Day One

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

T he earliest memories I have of my father are of him throwing me into the air (you’d think a doctor would know better!) while I laughed delightedly, knowing he’d catch me and give me a warm “hug tight.” He was a quiet type of person, while I got my outspoken nature more from my mother, but even without so many words, I knew he adored me and I adored him right back.

My parents divorced when I was just a baby and I have no recollection of them being married to each other. I was so young at the time of their divorce, I didn’t ever harbor any secret longings for them to get remarried, like so many other kids of divorced parents. My parents lived a few streets away from each other, I saw them both all the time, and that was the only life I ever knew. Life was good. When I was ten, my father told me he was moving across the country to live closer to my bubby, his mother, who was getting older. “Don’t worry,” he told me as I sobbed, “you’ll come visit all the time. We’ll still see each other.”

I remember feeling like my heart was breaking as his car pulled out of the driveway for the last time. He called me as soon as he arrived and we spoke on the phone practically every day and finally, I was able to visit during my Chanukah break.

Actually, it was quite fun. Since I flew by myself, I was an unaccompanied minor and the airline stewardesses fussed over me, constantly asking how I was and if I needed anything, and offering me snacks. My father was waiting for me at the baggage claim area and I flew into his arms. My entire extended family treated me like a celebrity, taking me out for ice cream, buying me little treats, and taking me on special outings. The trip flew by, but by the time it was over I knew I’d be back at least four times during the year and for a month in the summer.

Two years later, on one of my shorter visits, my father had someone standing next to him at the airport when he picked me up.

“This is Sarah.”

Of course, you know where this is going, right? I knew without him telling me that she’d eventually be my stepmother. I was thrilled! That meant a wedding, a new house, possibly siblings. But you know how you can tell when someone doesn’t like you? They don’t have to say anything or do anything, they can be perfectly polite, but you can just feel it in your bones, in the air around you. I don’t know why, because I was on my best, most helpful behavior around Sarah, but I could feel with a certainty that Sarah didn’t like me from Day One.

Related Stories

Mindfulness: Disconnect to Connect

Ahuva Sofer

Imagine a world without computers. Without cell phones and social media. Does that sound deliciously...

Incredible Ways

Henya Rochel Weingarten

Isn’t it incredible the way things work out sometimes? I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real...

The Hazards and Hilarity of Teenhood: When My Married Sister Moved In

Malka Hillelsohn

Sometimes, even when you can’t change things, there are ways to help you cope with what you can’t ch...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time