The Bedroom Door Is Closed

Mama had three boys in 53 weeks.  A year and a week after I was born mama had twin boys.  A year after I had my Bar Mitzvah, Semele was born.  That was when we realized that Mama and Papa did--you know what.  It came as a shock.

Mama and Papa never showed outward affection in public, and the only time I remember them kissing was at their 50th wedding anniversary.

On the outside Mama let Papa appear to be the boss.  When everybody stood on line at a buffet table to get their food, Papa sat like a king waiting to be served.  Often we heard comments like, “It’s a shame that he doesn’t get his own food like the rest of us.” They felt sorry for Mama.

Many years later Mama told me that after they got home the bedroom door was closed.  She then told Papa what he did right, what he did wrong, and what he will never do again--Mama was the real boss in the family.

As I look back, I do remember Mama on occasions referring to Papa as Meksele and Papa calling her Perele.  This probably was a signal of intimacy that we boys never understood until we got much older and had our own families. 

There was love in our home, for us boys always kissed each parent good night and even as grown men the same thing took place.  I treasure my memories of Mama and Papa like a valuable possession.