Ode to Home.
It has come to my attention that perhaps my Israelite friends and family do not think we miss our world. “You’re loving it too much,” they’ll toss out. “Keep remembering what’s hard for you,” they’ll offer up. Oh dear. So here’s part one of my ode to what we’ve left behind (there are many parts…)
When David and I came on shlichut, we packed up our 5 kids and hit the road. We left 20 more kids at home. When Channan was born, the 16 year-olds on our yishuv asked us to adopt them. “We need a place to hang out,” our favorite babysitters said. “Can we bring our 25 closest friends here every Friday night? You’re too young to be our parents and too old to be our friends. You’ll be just perfect for us.” And we were just perfect for them. And they were perfect for us. We have spent the past six and a half years with our adopted shevet. So Friday nights for us in Cleveland suddenly became very very quiet. We’re used to being interrupted in the middle of dessert by one or two of our favorite adopted kids and watch as they continue to trickle in throughout the night. We usually fall asleep before they leave (David most definitely falls asleep before they leave. I like the gossip so I try to stay awake). Last Friday night, David and I actually read books. And suddenly felt lonely. I do not make as much dessert here as I did in Israel. In Israel there was always (always) some hungry 22 year old ready to eat it up.
But this is what I miss most of all: I missed the wedding of one of our most favorite girls. I missed a terrible break up, a few good dates, a few bad ones. I missed a religious journey. I’ve missed the phone calls, the coffee, the total joy of being 22. I’ve missed feeling so proud of their accomplishments and so devastated by their losses. I miss crying with them. And laughing with them. I miss my broken Hebrew around them. For those of them that read English (and read this) know that when we come home, we’re coming home for you.
(Sidenote: We do have friends over 22. We love them also. Some day I’ll write about all the flash mobs and the parties and the torah that we’ve missed by heading to Ohio to pick the president.)
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