A few days after Shmulik was born, I found myself in the amazing position of being alone at home having to take care of three small children under the age of 4.5 years old. It was a bit daunting. My husband had gone back to work after taking a day or so off. It was me…and these three needy humans.
I don’t remember the order in which I did things; I don’t remember what I did. I do remember that there was little crying (by them or me) and somewhere around 10:30 in the morning, as little Amira and Elie were playing on the living room floor and I was nursing my newborn son, I suddenly felt such an amazing feeling of satisfaction, of accomplishment. I didn’t know what would happen the next day, or even the next hour, but for that incredible moment, all was right with the world. I think in life we never have enough of these moments and so we should savor them when we do have them.
This morning, my oldest daughter was with her husband in the home they have built. They are young, happy, and building a life. Elie has finished the army and is taking a course to help him improve the all important grade he gets on Israel’s psychometric tests which are used by universities as they decide who to accept. My youngest son had slept at his yeshiva in Jerusalem, a school he enjoys and is already challenging and maturing him as I’d hoped it would.
That left Shmulik and Aliza at home. I drove Aliza to school, as I do most mornings, and dropped Shmulik off nearby so he could meet up with his commanding officer and begin his day. There, by a few minutes to 8:00 in the morning, I had placed all my children where they needed to be placed, prepared food for one, said good morning to another. There was no crying (them or me), just a feeling…of satisfaction, of happiness, of love, of life.
In those first days of Shmulik’s life, I could not have imagined the trip we would take, the boy and the man he would become. He wants to get married in the next few months. The young lady is very sweet, very beautiful and in many ways it will be an interesting relationship to watch unfold. She comes from a culture very different from ours. I know only that their feelings for one another have lasted the test of time so far and can only hope it will overcome the stresses that life throws at us.
It’s part of that giving birth process that never ends. Each step he takes is another step away; another release. it begins with the physical release from your body but it doesn’t end there. Shmulik began his day today, as he likely will his life in the next few months, on a path I can only watch from the side, can only pray is the right one.
It’s a beautiful day here in Israel, sunshine and dreams. Last night I stayed up too late watching as dedicated rescue workers continued more than 20 hours of excruciating slow work, extracting 33 trapped miners in Chile. One by one they emerged. Reborn, safe. Some cried, some laughed. Some fell to the ground in gratitude. All were welcomed and shown the love of the watching world.
The miners are safe and back with their families; Amira is in her apartment; Elie is still asleep after returning from his evening course session late. Shmulik is now driving his commanding officer, another day in the army. Chaim might come for Shabbat, if he is released this Shabbat from the army. Davidi is in school, but will come home tomorrow for the weekend. Little Aliza isn’t so little anymore and went off today giving me a list of things to do.
For a moment, for a single precious moment, my world is right. Satisfaction. Love. Life. Israel.
Lovely, lovely post. I have the same feeling today. Two boys in the army, both content with what they are doing, two girls still at home. Today is the second son’s hashbaah at the Kotel, and I feel pride and hope and immense gratefulness.
Every day is a gift.
Mazel tov, Lila – wish I had the energy to join you. The ceremony at the Kotel is amazing, inspiring. Quick note though – if you can, try to get there at least 1.5 hours early – much later than that and you won’t be able to see much at all. If you can, take some folding chairs or get there early and get some chairs from the women’s section. They’ll tell you that you shouldn’t – just argue back and tell them you’ll return them after the ceremony. Set the chairs up as close to the gated area as you can…otherwise, people will come and stand in front of you and you won’t be able to see – at worst, you can stand on the chairs. It isn’t nice, but everyone was doing it. If you can, bring a video – it is likely the only way you can really get to see your son (with the ZOOM!!!). I was so lucky – I actually caught both Chaim and Shmulik’s moment on tape.
Have a great time!
The feelings you describe are very rare and not many people are lucky to experience them. But this happens, I believe, because people fail to appreciate their everyday life and do not understand that they shouldn’t wait for wonder to happen. Their life is wonder itself.
I love your blog and have commented many times but they never seem to go thru….Maybe this time it will.
I don’t understand why my comments don’t go thru. I love your blog and have a lot to say!