This isn’t about Shmulik or Elie, Chaim or Yaakov and yet…it is about a child in Israel – one they all love.
My youngest daughter (if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you met her here in A Candle and a Wave and A Child’s Alarm) is learning something that I don’t know how to translate – basically Medical Care, First Aid, Human Care or something like that – its the rudiments of first aid at a fourth grade level. She has a test today and so spoke of what she knows on the way to school.
“ABC” she said.
“What’s that for?” I asked.
“Air waves, Breathing, and Circulation”
“They teach you that in English?” I asked her.
“No, but they tell us ABC because it isn’t the same in Hebrew.” Okay. It was cute and I went along with it as she spoke and then my mind stopped and I heard not the cute tone of her voice, that I love listening to, but the words. I asked her to explain it again and then asked if this was the teacher’s explanation or hers.
“The teacher. He’s really funny. He told us ‘If a doctor says a patient doesn’t have a pulse, but he does, what does that mean?’ “
She giggled and then answered, “it means it’s a bad doctor.”
But it was the analogy that she told me before that stuck with me. This ABC thing is: “It’s like a missile hitting a building,” she explained. It took me a while to get the image and understand what she was saying…
See, you have a building, she explains. If the missile hits the top of the building, the people can live, but if it hits the bottom, they won’t. So, if the person isn’t getting air, for example, they will die – check the airways first. If the airways are clear, but the person isn’t breathing, you do one thing….I don’t remember now. My brain stopped after the explanation of the building and the missile.
It’s actually a good description – the concept of prioritizing…but the image remains and the wonder. I can’t see any teacher in another country using the same example…and yet it worked. It didn’t distress the children. They live with the reality all the time. They understand what happens when a missile hits and the physics of where it hits a building.
That, I guess, is Israel’s child and listening to my child give that explanation was enough to make me regret, just a bit, the abnormality of it all. I’m happy she’s learning about ABC, even how to do CPR, though I confess that concerned me a bit and yes, she won’t forget the prioritization of what to do in first aid. I am thrilled beyond all words that we live in Israel, that our lives and futures are in this beautiful land but I regret…just a bit…that a child could be taught…and can understand based on the imagery of a missile hitting a building.