One thing I have learned after being a soldier's mother for almost two years now, is that even though he carries a gun, dresses in an army uniform, and even commands others, he is still so much of what he was before. Elie loves cars. He loves to drive them. He loves to understand them. He, like his father, can hear the sound of an engine and understand when something is wrong or right.
He spent the last few days in Jerusalem and last night he went to the mall with the other religious soldiers who, like Elie, chose to spend their vacation time in Jerusalem rather than in the vacation resort in Ashkelon. Last night, he stopped by the house to bring back shoes that he didn't need up north, pick up a book (which he forgot) and a few other things.
This morning, he drove the car to our Training Center, grabbed something to eat, and then I drove him to the Central Bus Station to meet up with his friends and catch the bus back to the rest of his unit in Ashkelon. The next bus was scheduled to leave around 10:30 a.m.
At 10:10 a.m., I got a frantic call, "Ima, I have the keys to the car."
"I'll be right there," I said as I grabbed my purse and the keys to the second car.
"Hurry," he said, "the bus is leaving soon."
I ran to the elevator; ran to the car; drove really fast (but at a legal and careful speed, always stopping completely at stop signs and never once breaking any laws...yeah, yeah, yeah)...and pulled up near the Central Bus Station a minute before he came running outside with his gun in one hand and the keys in the other.
"Well, at least I get another kiss and hug," I said to him.
He smiled, gave me my mother payments, and said, "I've got to go." And went.
So, the thing is...to all soldiers and kids out there - when you borrow the car - you have to remember to return the keys...and if you don't - at least pay your parent a kiss and hug and they will feel well paid for the inconvenience of driving to meet you.
Elie made his bus and got to Ashkelon on time.