It is other mothers who wake this morning with the sense of panic in their heads, the need to scream and wonder why no one else notices. Today, there are mothers all over Israel who woke wondering where their sons are, if they are where they were yesterday, or if they have been moved nearer to Gaza.
It's a grinding feeling in your stomach that never goes away, not in the afternoon, not at night, not in sleep, and not as you wake and wonder where he is. It's a burning sensation behind your eyes as you say to yourself, "I will NOT cry now" and you say it again and again. Each act of kindness from a friend, each word of support or comfort threatens to bring those tears closer and you almost wish people wouldn't offer that love, that sense that you aren't alone in a vast, dark room.
There is no joy, as some of the nasty people try to imply. No sense of anything other than knowing that you'd rather your son, all our sons, be anywhere else, doing anything else - and knowing that we had, once again, no choice.
It is the Palestinian's choice, this war we find ourselves in. It is they who have escalated this; they who fired 70 rockets at us in one day...and so yes, we targeted their military chief. This is a just target both for his terrorist past and his ongoing work aiming rockets at our cities.
And in response - Gaza fired more than 100 rockets last night; dozens this morning. The dawn of Day 1 of this war brings a ground operation that much closer. An Israeli family has been decimated by a direct hit on a home. It was the target, not an accident.
Gazans love to claim their rockets are "homemade" and Arafat even said once they only "make noise."
These rockets are medium range missiles being fired at civilians. Each missile is an act of war. And so, as any normal nation would, we have answered war with war, death with death. It is a war Gaza has no chance of winning.
We will fight it to take out their military targets; we will step on their militants and through it all we will remember that we are humans. The Gazans are far luckier in their choice of enemy than we are.