Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What the Army Giveth...

...the army may well take back.

When Elie realized that he would not be home for the Seder (and that his aunt and uncle were visiting from the States), he asked for one extra day to spend with them, extending his weekend off from Sunday morning to Monday morning. His commanding officer told him that if anyone else had asked, he would have immediately refused the request, but in Elie's case, he agreed.

We were all excited to know we'd have that bit of extra time, compensation (in part) for spending the Seder and most of this week apart. And then two days ago, Elie said that it was possible that the other commanding officer would need to go off-base on Monday, which would require Elie to be back on base Sunday.

What the army giveth...all too often, it can take back. We've learned this before; we're likely to learn it again in the future. Elie was quicker to accept this change than I was.

We've decided to drive up north tomorrow; meet Elie at his base, and hopefully go to the shores of the Sea of Galilee for a barbecue and then drive home. Elie asked me to bring regular non-army clothes for him - this allows him to get back to non-army life that much faster.

I was looking forward to Thursday, wishing the week away so that we would all be together. I was wishing the week to slow down. We rarely find time to take vacations as a family; each day is precious. It's a contradiction - to want the week to hurry at the same time you want it to slow down; but this too is something we have learned to live with over the last 14 months or so since Elie went into the army.

This morning, I woke up to find it was Wednesday. Somehow, I'd lost a day - I don't know what happened to Tuesday, but there it is. Tomorrow we'll get up early; tonight I'll organize and pack.

Tomorrow, Elie will come home. He'll boss us around. He'll eat all the food. He'll help where and when he can. The house will feel like a tornado has arrived and then he'll go back to the army on Sunday, taking with him, yet again, a small piece of my heart and a large piece of my peace. So it will go, this week and next, for longer than I care to think about.

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