For the last few days, I’ve been less drawn to writing on the blog than usual. It’s something I enjoy doing, and do quite regularly and yet, I’ve had to remind myself that I need to come here and post. And today, I figured out why.
I was driving to work, consumed with thoughts of the technical writing class I’ve just begun, my husband being away, our imminent move, and more. You see, today, Elie is on break for a period of two weeks. This week, his entire unit gets “regila” – vacation. Next week, he asked the army to give him a special break to help with our move. I can’t explain how human, never mind humane, the Israeli army is – it is something we all understand here and accept. The army of Israel, is Israel and they have families that need them, houses that need to be moved and happy (and sad) family events.
The army understands when a soldier needs to be home, and when home needs the soldier, so Elie has not only this week, but next week too. And so, Elie isn’t a soldier now. He’s a regular young man with a dirty room that has to be packed, a sister that MUST be teased, a younger brother that MUST be ordered around. Now he is Elie, who cooked dinner last night, insisting that I don’t add enough sauce to the spaghetti, and Elie who saw I was losing the computer game can grabbed the laptop to victory…and kept it for another game as well.
Now it is my Elie, always my Elie, and not my soldier. And, I realized this morning, if he isn’t a soldier, I’m not a soldier’s mother, am I?
That doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing, when do I ever? But, now it feels more like I’m writing about my kids and less about my soldier. But, of course, there is a difference that is never forgotten. News comes into our home – an arrest near Kalkilye – Elie’s friends. A firebomb attack on a bus; smuggling attempts and more. Elie keeps one ear on the news, which is not normal, at least not according to the standards of my youth and there is a gun in Elie’s room so the door is locked more often than not.
Elie is taking a break from the army and I can sleep and breathe more easily – in a strange way, I love being a soldier’s mother…because I love what the army has done for and to my son and what he has become as a result of his service. But, I also love taking a break and having him home!