Yesterday I stopped my car in the middle of the road so some ducks could cross the road safely. That was my drama of the day. If I’m being honest, I’d add a car rental debacle that we’re still trying to dig through, my cell phone which refuses to work outside of Israel and jet lagged children. But that was offset by autumn-like weather, large parking spots and my beloved library.
On Shabbat before we left for Cleveland, the air raid siren went off. I was home with Eitan, Dov and a handful of macho 24 year olds. We traipsed down to the mamad to be joined by Yoni and his friends who sprinted in. David was out walking the dog. Yael was off at Bnei Akiva. So that left Channan. Channan was at the park with a bunch of friends playing. I knew some parent would scoop him up and deposit him in the basement of the shul. And I knew he’d be with friends. So rationally, I was calm. Emotionally, I was not. To know Yoni is to remember that mixed with his swagger is a deep soul. The minute we were allowed out of the mamad (and with macho 24 year olds that is WAY earlier than anyone else), Yoni sprinted to the shul to find a sobbing Channan. As we tried to calm him down and tell him how awesome he’d been, I realized we’d be leaving in a few days. And while that thought should have calmed me down, it just made me feel worse.
There is something so powerful and bonding about experiencing something as a country. And there is something so isolating, I am rapidly learning, about leaving it behind. My younger kids are calmer and happier now. But my older kids feel this tension — this pull of wanting to be part of something bigger, something important and significant. They feel somehow wrong that they aren’t there.
And I get it. I feel it too. But I also know enough to appreciate the need to stop my car and let the ducks walk by.
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