I have a confession to make. I'm an ice cube fanatic. Well, more precisely, I'm an ice cube tray fanatic. One of my favorite rooms in a house where we lived for 8 years, was a strange shaped room with curved walls and strange angles. It was what was left after the entire house was designed. The house was attached to another - a huge square shape - cut diagonally across so that each side was in fact a modified triangle.
I believe firmly that what is important in life is training your children for the unexpected, the different, the challenge. I know people who insisted their children stick to a schedule - this time to nap, this time to shower, this time to eat. A schedule is good - but if enforced too strongly, the child loses the ability to cope with life because life has a way of throwing curves at us.
That's what my life has been like as a soldier's mother, I realize now. The curves come at you when you don't expect them; the straight lines a comfort but a passing one. So, back to the ice trays. We have dozens. Too many, really. My children groan when I come home with another one; my husband gives me this wonderful, tolerant smile. Another?
We have ice trays in the shapes of seahorses, ABC, pluses, stars, circles with holes in them, long rectangular ones, mini-bottles. We have triangles and hearts and flowers. I'm sure I'm forgetting some but it doesn't matter. The point is - ice trays.
One of my great sources was IKEA in Netanya. I was there a few months ago and as I passed the ice tray piles, I searched and found only those that I had already. Not surprising, considering our collection. I was about to buy another when I realized this might border on obsessive compulsive behavior and resisted the urge.
I was so proud of myself, I called my husband to tell him of my success but his phone was busy. Shmulik was in the army, so I called Elie, "What, they didn't have any new ones?" he laughed.
"Well, no, they didn't," I admitted - happy to hear him laugh again.
I called my husband later and he made the same comment - it is a running joke in our family and one I do my best to promote. Yesterday in what seems to be an electrical short, IKEA in Netanya burned down. Thankfully, no one was injured - it's only money and that is not something we mourn over.
I have little doubt they will rebuild and restock and when they do, I'll go and check out the ice trays because really, life is about those little differences, being unconventional. Life is about the twists in the road, the bumps in the roller coaster, the strange and interesting ice cube you put in your glass.
My children are adaptable to any situation, and changes in scheduling without warning. They adjust, and then they adjust again. To survive in the army, you need this quality; to survive in life, you need this flexibility. It is something that I have given them, a gift they do not even recognize as a gift.
In the meantime, Shmulik's wedding is coming steadily closer - I have just decided that among the gifts I will give them - is a set of ice cube trays. No idea what shape...but it won't be regular or ordinary!