Elie "took" the day off yesterday, his English birthday. He spent the day running errands and then we gathered our children (all but one...our adopted son who is in America)...these are our natural children, our son-in-law, and our adopted son, Chaim (brother to our adopted son in America). The table was full - the boys for the most part went for the steak.
After, they brought a cake with ice cream and a sparkler and we sang Elie happy birthday. This morning, I had an appointment with a potential client and so Elie drove me there, took the car for a physical therapy appointment because his knees have been bothering him, came back and picked me up...and drove to his base.
My appointment finished early and so I walked a few blocks to Israel's only IKEA store (they are opening another one, but I don't think it is open yet). IKEA is about the fanciful more than the practical; it's about the unusual, the fun.
I have a confession to make - one that only my close friends and guests in my house discover...I am an ice tray fanatic. I simply love new shapes of ice. I can't explain why, but there you go. I bought a bunch of small things - a measuring cup, a set of knives, some more ice trays (of course), and finally, I've been wanting a plant for my office for oh-so-long, and there it was.
Elie called and told me he was approaching IKEA. I made my purchases and went to stand on the curb with my big IKEA plastic bag filled with my purchases, my computer hanging over my shoulder, my purse, and, of course, the relatively large plant in my arms. Elie pulled closer and as I started to walk towards the car, he put the car in reverse and moved it back a few feet.
I smiled at his game, went to walk to the car, and he pulled back again. He did it a few times before letting me catch up. He was laughing, I was laughing...God, I love that boy.
It was the first time he had driven in the parking lot - a huge area that is difficult to navigate if you don't know that some lanes go towards the exit, while others feed you into other lanes...that feed you into other lanes.
We watched several people drive against traffic to exit through the entrance. Elie was determined to find the exit, and in that too, there was laughter. I got a quick hug and kiss after he'd loaded his huge backpack over his back, strapped his gun to his side and then he entered the gate. Automatically, he checked his gun before entering - a safety precaution.
I put the car in reverse and as I drove away, I watched Elie talking with the soldier who was standing guard at the gate. They were smiling and talking and Elie looked happy. There are times, perhaps most of the time, when a mother knows she can't really ask for more.
May God watch over Elie and all the soldiers of Israel. May he grant them health, and safety, and happiness, and laughter.