Sunday, August 30, 2015

It Starts with a Date

I won't say when, but I will say it is in November. We don't know what unit yet, but we have an idea. It could change, as could the actual date my third and youngest son enters the Israeli army.
Starting from a very young age, Israeli boys (and girls) know that they are destined to go to the army. It's part of how they grow up, where they are headed, who they will become. For those of us who came to Israel as adults, it's something that is harder to assimilate. It's so easy, year after year, to deny that it will happen, to postpone dealing with it. So, here I am, six weeks away from when my son will enter the Israeli army, suddenly having it all become real. This blog is a soldier's mother's story.       -- A Soldier's Mother, February 13, 2007

He told me two nights ago and I think of it at odd times. Mostly, I wonder where I'll get the strength to do it again. I've had a few years' break when I had to worry about reserve duty here or there, but not the daily concern of where my son is, what he is doing.

I hate the idea of going back to that. I hate this whole thing.

I don't really. I'm proud of how calm David seems; I'm a mess. I've watched so many other mothers send their sons; I spoke with them, tried to calm them and told them not to worry. I wrote things like, "you don't have to worry every minute...bad news finds you very fast" and "when he's in training, you don't have to worry."

And now, knowing I have nothing to worry about, I feel that darn roller coaster coming towards me. I've been on it at a national level but not really at a personal level for a while now.
Elie is 19 years old. A handsome boy with the most incredible blue eyes. He's smart, a volunteer in the ambulance squad, and lest you think that I think he is perfect, he's got a mighty fine temper and his room's a terrible mess. Elie is the manager of the family, the one who analyzes everything. -- A Soldier's Mother, February 13, 2007
Davidi is 19 years old. A handsome boy with the most incredible blue eyes. He's smart, a volunteer in the ambulance squad and lest you think that he is perfect, he doesn't have a mighty fine temper, but his room is usually a mighty fine mess. Davidi is the quiet one, the peaceful one, the calm and solid one. He's the one that pulled me into the bomb shelter when we first heard the air raid siren...when my heart stopped and I knew that somewhere outside...Aliza was with her friend. I would never have gone in the bomb shelter...even though it would have been logical to assume a 14-year-old has enough sense to take shelter. And then, when we heard Iron Dome knock out an incoming missile and knew that it was no false alarm, I began to sob...no other word...I just cried my heart out and Davidi held on, didn't let me collapse like I wanted to, tried to keep me calm while we waited. That is David...quiet, strong, solid.

It starts with a date...and we have that. November...less than 3 months. I'm not ready. I don't have questions this time, as I did with the others. All I have is a knot in the pit of my stomach, an ache that is getting stronger.
So - Elie is all grown up now, a man about to go to the army. We got his "marching" orders last week - artillery unit, and already I am panicking. Not because I don't want him to go, but because I haven't had the time to accept it all....And, in the middle of all this, quietly moving closer and closer was this date - end of March, 2007, my son will be a soldier. -- A Soldier's Mother, February 13, 2007
So - David is all grown up now, a man about to go to the army. We have the date but not the unit, and already I am panicking. Not because I don't want him to go, but because there will never be enough time for me to accept it all. And in the middle of all this, quietly moving closer and closer is this date....November, 2015, my son, my baby, my third son will be a soldier.

I have to do this again. I know I will but God, right now, I really don't want to.

1 comment:

littleduckies said...

And I try not to worry . . . I have another 13 years, and somehow, I keep hoping that the army will be different by then, that the situation will be different by then . . . and then I remember that these thoughts, these wishes, have been thought and wished by generations of parents, since the founding of the State.
That the soldiers who fought in 1948, fought with the hope that their children would not have to fight. Their children fought with the hope that *their* children would not have to fight. And so on . . . right up to people like you. Who send one kid, in the hopes that the situation will somehow be different by the time the next one has to draft.
And so, why should I think that there will be any changes in the next fourteen years?

Maybe it is better to have only girls. Sheirut Leumi seems to be the better end of the stick.

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