Time with my family, meals with close friends, the wonderful experience of deepening your spirituality through prayer, rain, and so much more ... it was a wonderful few weeks.
Tomorrow has been coming for a while now...wait, that doesn't explain. I expect Davidi to be home soon...he'll sleep here tonight and then tomorrow morning, I have to take him to Ammunition Hill. It's where incoming soldiers from the Jerusalem area meet...they're taken around a bit, I think, and then bused to Tel HaShomer hospital - to the army base nearby. At that point, they are examined, given some shots, uniforms and undershirts, socks, boots, and more...some spend the night there, others are transferred, in uniform, to the bases all over Israel where they will be trained.
Davidi is doing the army through a program called Hesder - as Shmulik did. It is for religious men - they serve and learn. In Davidi's case, instead of 3 years in the army, he is learning this year, then will do two years of army and then decide if he wants to do a third year of army or return for another year of learning.
While most of the young men and women who go to Ammunition Hill follow what I wrote above, Davidi and many Hesder groups sort of walk out the side door and return to their yeshiva for another year. His actual "draft" date, the date they'll take him to a base, give him a uniform and a gun...is a year away.
So I have no reason to feel what I am feeling, that little sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. The sense that I'm at the ticket gate, handing in that little stub and getting ready to climb on the roller coaster again.
It's so silly to feel this way. I should be saying, "been there, done that," but I can't. So tomorrow, I'll drive David there, give him a kiss and see him off...and I'll force myself to think of other things until the night when he comes back home.
And I'll remember the day I took Elie...when he called me and told me he was in uniform, and I knew it would be days before I'd see him again. With Elie, there was The Night Before, for Davidi, this is just a regular night and he'll be home tomorrow.
In those other posts about Elie, I posted pictures of Elie when he was a baby and how he grew...it would be silly for me to do that here...wouldn't it?
Well, just one...I can do one, right? Isn't that a silly one? Well, never mind...the serious ones will come, right?
So, today's blessing...I am blessed to live in a land where our sons choose to serve, where they agree to join combat units and fight for their land. I am blessed to be part of a community of mothers (and fathers) who understand that whatever tears I shed tonight or tomorrow are okay.
I have one year more before that roller coaster leaves the station. And even if he takes my ticket now, I don't have to get on board quite yet. It's too early to post this and yet, maybe it's not. I wrote this seven years ago. It was true then, it will be true tomorrow morning when David is issued a card and formally "drafted".
My son is a soldier in the army of Israel. Why that makes me want to cry, I can't explain when it is something that I have accepted, something in which I feel pride. For now, the fear and worry that threatens to push the pride aside will be my personal battle in the next day and week and year. My son is where I have always wanted him to be, doing what he must do. It is something that Jews have been unable to do for thousands of years - to defend their land and their right to live here. My son is a soldier in the army of Israel.