I never cease to amaze myself with my ability to be wrong. I can be a little wrong and then I can be cataclysmically wrong. I was a little wrong when I thought that navy blue was a good bedroom colour and then our room was so dark that we could barely make out the colours of our clothes. I was more wrong when my eldest son was a toddler and I argued nurture over nature with my husband as I watched this same little boy turn his dolly into a race car. I was cataclysmically wrong in 1989 when I believed that the Chinese government wouldn’t do anything to all those students in Tiananmen Square when the whole world was watching.
Now I find that I am once again sitting on top of a great big wrong. This one goes like this, “I won’t worry as much about my son when he’s actually in Israel serving in the IDF. Out of sight out of mind.” Who did I think that woman was? She sure isn’t me. I feel a little like the creature in Green Eggs and Ham when he finally becomes willing to give the dish a try. I can worry on a train, in the rain, in a car, from afar, worry’s always on my brain.
I have to be grateful for modern technology. My son has a great cell phone plan and we hear from him almost daily. If there isn’t a phone call there’s at least a little text message at some point in the day. I remember travelling to Israel in the early eighties. I called home once a month. I think we paid about $30.00 for 3 minutes. Thank goodness that’s changed. He’s even messaged me some pictures. While his army haircut briefly took my breath away I can’t even begin to describe what seeing him in his uniform did to me.
While I’m speaking of technology, I’d like to thank the truly brilliant person who invented FaceTime. I don’t know who you are but in my mind you have to either be a mother or have done this with mothers the world over in mind. The only problem is that hugging my phone doesn’t feel the same as hugging my kid. Could I please put in a request for someone to invent touchovision?
In other ways I am truly surprised to find that there are things that I am not so worried about. I’m learning to trust the IDF in a way that I never imagined before. I’m grateful on a daily basis for a country that appreciates what my son is doing. Whether it is the Lone Soldier Program that takes care of these young men and women who have come from abroad to serve Israel or just the person at the train station who insists on holding the door open for my very capable son in uniform. I am beyond grateful for my son’s Kibbutz Family who have welcomed him into their home and their lives and have made him feel a little less alone. In the picture that I have of Jacob in his uniform I can see that it looks nice and crisp. His kibbutz mother ironed his uniform for him. She actually did that. Hating ironing as I do I’m not even sure that I would do that. This is just one of the many niceties that I have heard about from my son and I wonder if anyone realizes how huge these acts of kindness are and how a mom thousands of kilometres away will use the knowledge of these acts to help her to sleep at night and to warm her soul.
Jacob’s swearing in ceremony was this week. It was the first ever ceremony of his life that I was not there to witness. I hate that. Kol HaKavod to all the young men and women of the IDF. May you all be kept safe.