Tomorrow’s Soldier

It seems that our children grow so fast. Yesterday’s child is today’s bridegroom, or so it seems. My parents have eleven grandchildren in total – eight of them boys. Three are in the US, five here in Israel.

Three are my sons; two belong to my sister. Elie was the oldest grandson, the first to enter the army. Yair was next. Shmulik went in a while later, the months blend together and it’s hard to remember. My parents have three grandsons who serve this land…and two more who have yet to serve.

I spoke to my sister earlier tonight. Her youngest son has been going through the various entrance steps to the army. He’s trying out to be a pilot. Hundreds try each year, a few dozen succeed.

It’s a scary road he takes. I can’t honestly in my heart hope he succeeds. I know he wants it but I can’t get myself to hope he gets what he wants. I’ve accepted Artillery (both Elie and Yair were in Artillery). I could handle the ground forces – Shmulik and Chaim and Yaakov served in the ground forces. But Air Force…planes…I don’t know.

I was thinking about the baby I knew all grown and starting the last steps into the army. He was just a baby when we moved here and now he’s so tall, so beautiful. And another thought crossed my mind. If the fourth grandchild is getting ready to enter the army; the fifth can’t be that far behind. Too soon. My youngest son is next.

He’s not even 15 years old (okay, he’s just over a month away, but that’s still 14). But in two years, they’ll invite him to the first call-up and the process will begin. He and Yoav are tomorrow’s soldiers. They say there are no certainties in life, but the truth is that there sometimes are. One almost certainty, if there is such a thing, is that yesterday’s child becomes tomorrow’s soldier too fast.

We’re racing to the future again when all I want to say is slow down. Today is so beautiful, so precious. Slow down.

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