Popular Articles

“I came to realize there is a kvelling/kvetching hierarchy,” says proud Jewish mom Rebecca Eckler. “There are the competitive kvellers/kvetchers.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Your kid climbed Everest. That's nice. Mine is a unicyclist | Photo: Christopher Burns (Unsplash)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Like most Jewish mothers, I can easily kvell about my children for days. I don’t. But I could.

Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that I’d utter the following: My 16 year-old daughter, Rowan, has decided to learn how to ride a unicycle.

How many other Jewish mothers are out there who can kvell they have a teenager who rides a unicycle? (If there are any, let’s start a Facebook support group!)

Yeah, my daughter has won multiple ski and swim medals, she will kick your ass at poker, chess and backgammon, and unlike me, she doesn’t have to count on her fingers.

But let’s get back to what’s truly important right now — which is that I’m a Jewish mother of a unicyclist!

If I had that skill, you bet I’d be adding that down on my LinkedIn as a “skill set,” which I advised my daughter to do. I’m not kvelling that I have a daughter who is hell-bent on being a confident unicyclist, but I am kvelling that I raised a kid who even thought, “I want to ride a unicycle!”

Mostly I’m kvelling that my daughter doesn’t give a hoot what her peers think, just like her mother, me, doesn’t give a hoot about what others think about what I do.

I also instilled in her that you can still be a good person and break a few rules, that other people’s success doesn’t make you a failure, that happiness really is the key to success, and to forever be curious and try new things. The last lesson, it seems, really sank in.

Sometimes I laugh, inwardly, when I hear parents, obviously (but maybe unknowingly) trying to out-kvell each other, boasting about their children’s accomplishments. Sometimes the Jewish tribe of parents — and make no mistake, there’s no other tribe I’d rather be in — kvell over their children, as if it was a competitive sport. “That’s nice your kid wants to be a chef. My kid is studying to be a theoretical physicist. His teachers say he’s going to be the next Stephen Hawking. Oh, did I mention he’s training for the New York Marathon? After he climbs Mount Everest, that is.”

I’m not, and never will, kvetch about those who kvell about their children. Brag away! Kvell to your heart’s content! I genuinely love kvelling posts and photos, and will click that “love” button. I’m genuinely kvelling for your kid too!

I so very badly want to get into a kvelling match, so I can say, “How wonderful your kid is training for the Olympics! My daughter? She’s learning to ride a unicycle!” I mean, how can you one up me with a comeback kvell after hearing this?

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

I came to realize there is a kvelling/kvetching hierarchy. There are the competitive kvellers/kvetchers. I think most of us know at least one of these types. They are the ones who will, every time you see them, mention that their kid got into medical school — which is definitely something to kvell about.

But at the same time, a little part of me wants to remind people, “I know. You told me this five months ago. You told me four months ago. You told me three months ago. And, somehow, in the five minutes we’ve been talking, you’ve just dropped that in, at least 12 times!” I’m quite impressed that these over-kvellers somehow manage to do this.

Admittedly, I also want to remind those competitive kvellers that it’s their child who got into medical school, not them.

It seems, too, that the competitive kvellers also happen to be the best competitive kvetchers.

You do not want to be around a parent whose kid did not get into medical school, because they will come up with every kvetch in the world to justify why their kid didn’t get in. Too many parents live vicariously through their kids, especially these days. God forbid their child doesn’t get into the school of their choice, or does not make a team they tried out for, because it’s these competitive kvetching parents, who take it as a personal “failure,” even more so than their kids.

The second lower down level of kvellers/kvetchers in my life, are my “mommy friends,” who are super nice. I’m not sure we’d necessarily hang out socially, since all we have in common, really, is that we all have to watch our kids in the same activity, week after week.

Rebecca's daughter Rowan is on a unicycle - this is totally kvell worthy | Photo supplied

The only other commonality is that we kvetch that getting our kids to all these activities is entirely time-consuming, and that we can’t feel our asses on the steel benches, as we shiver in cold hockey rinks every damn weekend. It’s terrible, but I don’t even know the first names of these “mommy friends.” The contact list on my phone is filled with, “Ryan’s mother,” “Adam’s mother,” or “Ben’s mother.” I appreciate these mommy friends who I can kvell with, saying to each other how much our kids have improved from the previous week, even though their team usually loses 12-0, week after week.

Also on this second level are “social” friends, who I see at charity events, parties, and with whom I may go out for a drink a couple times a year. This is, again, on a superficial level, where our only commonality is that we have kids, and we like wine.

My “social” friends will, as I will, mostly talk about what school their kids go to, how old they are, what subjects they excel at, and what they may want to be when they grow older.

Finally, there are my true friends, friends whose names I know, whose birthdays I know, who I talk to all the time. I find this interesting, but with these really close friends, that I’ve known for years, well, we barely kvell or kvetch about our children at all!

We basically ask, “all good with the kids?” before moving on to talking about anything other than our kids.

Some of my good friends should be kvelling about their kids, who have signed record deals, have written books, and can speak many languages. In fact, it’s me who has to drag kvelling out of them, when their children achieve something that is truly remarkable, that I will find out about on Facebook or Instagram.

So, while some of my friends’ kids know they want to study law, my unicycle-riding daughter has too many interests, wants to try everything, and could just as easily end up as prime minister, as she could a life-long ski bum.

I am being completely truthful when I say that I would say to a competitive kveller, “that’s great about your kid getting into the university of their choice! My daughter, Rowan? Well, she’s somewhere in Europe, selling ice cream to make enough money so she can just travel more. She’s a nomad!”

I simply don’t give a hoot about what others may think of what my daughter ends up doing with her life. I’d still kvell about her choice to be a nomad, equally as I would if she became an ambassador to the United Nations.

All that being said, I have shown a photo of Rowan practicing unicycle riding to my Uber driver, to a doorman, to my trainer, and even my gardener. Maybe I am more of a competitive Jewish mother kveller than I thought? Well, does your teenager know how to ride a unicycle?

Rebecca Eckler is the internationally bestselling author of ten books, including Knocked Up, How to Raise a Boyfriend, and Blissfully Blended Bullshit. She is the Executive Editor of SavvyMom.ca

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next