I’m back on duty as a soldier’s mother…now doesn’t that sound funny?
Yesterday, Elie returned to base, back to patrol, back to the responsibilities he carries with him. He’s spent his vacation day sorting through the contents of his room, an accumulation of about 8 years of his history. He came as a 14-year-old boy and leaves this house as a 22-year-old man. No, the house didn’t do much to bring about that transaction; time, natural development, and the army played the greatest part.
The room Elie will have in the new house is bigger, nicer than the one he has here. It’s location is better, brighter, with a nice balcony overlooking the neighborhood and the desert views to the east. Between that room and this one, there was a world of boxes, packing, planning. Winter clothes that he doesn’t need now are stored in boxes to be packed – and there lies some danger.
A terrorist attack can be averted more quickly based on the speed with which the terrorist is identified. There are “key” things that tip all Israelis off, and even more “keys’ that tip off soldiers and guards. And, there are things that throw them off – instantaneous messages that confuse the first impression.
Sometimes, terrorists have been known to wear the clothes of ultra-orthodox Jews, or wear army uniforms that they bought, stole, or found. Many moving companies use Arab workers. It is good for the companies – and good for the Arabs. A perfect societal balance…except in a world where too many Arabs decide to abuse the privilege of work to commit terrorist attacks and so guards are on alert, people watch, soldiers are wary.
And so, Elie’s spare army uniforms and winter clothes have been locked away in the new house. It is yet another of those abnormal experiences, unusual thoughts we have. It is not enough to worry about the move itself, we have to remember that some sensitive things could fall into the wrong hands and cause more harm.
So Elie cleaned his room, packed his boxes, and moved many of them to the new house himself. He’ll come home next week – to a new room, a new house. He’s back to being a soldier, and so I am back to being a soldier’s mother. It was a nice break, short though it was.
When my daughter goes into the army next Thursday, we will return to being a three-soldier family until November when my younger son will finish after six years in the army. His elder brother seems destined to stay on a lot longer. November will be eight years and he shows no signs of finishing.