A Chronic Thinker

I was thinking as I drove home from dropping Aliza at school this morning, letting my mind wander. I thought of something, and then the term came to mind – I am a chronic thinker. I think about the future and somewhere deep in the places I don’t want to admit to anyone, I believe that if you think of bad things that might happen, somehow you’ll help prevent them from happening.

See, I knew it wouldn’t make sense once the words were written out in black and white, but there you go. I believe that if we try to out-think God, God will simply be more creative and think of something else. Beyond that, I test how I’m going to feel about something – in short, I’m a chronic thinker. I wake sometimes in the middle of the night or the early morning hours, my mind heavy with so much.

This morning, I saw a boy that looked a bit like Davidi – not much, but a little. He was older though and so my mind wondered if he was in the army and there the chain continues. I wondered how I would feel when Davidi, my little boy, goes into the army. Never mind that at 15, he is certainly not little. He towers above me, simply towers above. He is slightly, ever-so-slightly, shorter than Elie such that each time he comes home from school, I see myself wondering if today is the day he will equal or pass Elie.

He has Elie’s blue eyes – almost more gray than blue, but amazing. His hair, like Elie’s is lighter than the rest of the family. Like Elie and Shmulik, he was chubby entering his 13th year, and then sprang up in height, becoming so much more slender. How would I feel, I thought this morning, having this one join the army?

And that was when I remembered something that happened after Elie’s birth. It is a Jewish custom to circumcise a son on the 8th day after his birth. It is that action that welcomes the boy into the Jewish people. The first act of many to come in his life.

When Elie was born, I was nervous about how the procedure would go, how I would take care of him after. It was an operation – a simple one, but an operation nonetheless. It was nerve-wracking,  but it went well. He was given his name, welcomed into a people and religion that has followed him all his life. After the actual brit (circumcision ceremony), it is customary as with most things in the Jewish religion, to sit down and have a meal, a celebration, a thanksgiving.

At the meal, I asked the rabbi, “does this get easier with each boy, or do you start wishing for girls?”  He laughed and assured me that it gets easier. When Shmulik was born, after the brit, I went to the rabbi and without much of an introduction, I said, “You lied.” He was startled for a second and then asked, “About what?”

“It doesn’t get easier,” I said with a smile, relieved that Shmulik too had received his name and his introduction to our covenant with God. A few years later, it was Davidi’s turn to undergo this experience. He was given the name of my husband’s father, a living memory to a wonderful man. My father-in-law would be amazed to see his grandchildren now, how tall they are, how smart, how beautiful.

The memory of that day when I told the rabbi that there are things in life that don’t get easier over time returned to me today as I thought into the future, when Davidi would come home with a gun and a uniform and I would still be a soldier’s mother.

Somehow, like the brit, I don’t think it gets easier with time. If it helps any, I have years to go before it happens. Like I said, I’m a chronic thinker, I guess. Shabbat shalom – may the Sabbath come and bring peace to all our sons, all our daughters, all our people and to the world.

3 Comments on A Chronic Thinker

  1. Being a soldier’s parent doesn’t ever get any easier. My youngest will finis the army this summer, but my eldest has at least another 6 years to do as a career officer in an elite combat unit. Plus there is always my other son and my son in law who are both officers in combat units.
    When my grandson was born 9 weeks ago, my son in law waited to call us till 5:30 am, when he knew I would already be awake. He knows exactly what a phone call at 2 am means to soldier’s parents!

  2. How could each time get easier, do we not love each of our children with every ounce of our soul equally and without reservation?

  3. Paula,

    I totally understand your point about parenting and it not getting any easier, but I really wanted to comment about your title for the post — I read “A Chronic Thinker” and my first reaction was “Of course, she’s a mom”! My wife often has trouble falling asleep at night as she recounts her day, reviews her decisions, plans for the next day and worries about her family!

    I think it comes with the territory. 🙂


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