Sunday, October 18, 2015

I'm Not in the Army Yet

"I'm not in the army yet." So spoke David on Friday when he and Aliza were discussing something. My memory is gone. I can't remember things - I'm too stressed and focused on what is happening. I get distracted so easily. I go to do something, hear my phone beep...and whatever I was going to do is forgotten.

So they were speaking to each other, these two youngest children of mine, and something in what they said got to me and I said that I was going to share it here on the blog.

Then I turned to David, who is about a month away from entering the army, and told him that of course he's going to have to start telling me everything that happens in his life so I can write it here. He snorted. He did!

I told him that his brothers did this daily - called me and reported in so I could write. Well, he knows that for the lie it is and anyway, I was smiling so much and laughing, clearly I lacked credibility.

And then he said, "I'm not in the army yet" and I smiled and laughed and took a pen to write it down while he attempted to grab the paper.

He's not in the army. We haven't gone shopping for the things he needs to get but he got an SMS telling him the date and the division. It's a scary one for me, though I'm not sure what unit would not be scary.

I know he's joining the army in a month...and all I can think to do about it is cry. Years ago, a stupid journalist from a stupid newspaper in a stupid country (okay, I'm exaggerating) wrote to ask if he could interview me. His name was Faisal (an Arab name) and so I decided it would be safest to either decline or answer him by email. I chose email.

He asked me absurd questions that could easily have endangered Elie's life (what is his unit, where are they, what's his cell number, what's his job in the army, etc.) to which I responded by asking him how stupid he thought I was.

One of his questions was whether we threw a party the night before Elie went to war and I responded by asking him what kind of society he comes from. It's a month away and I already know that I will cry my eyes out the night before David goes into the army.

Last week, I went to a ceremony at the Kotel for the incoming Givati soldiers. I've been to a few. This time, there was a difference. First, there were many guards all around - on the way there, at the Kotel itself, all around the trains, and more. The ceremony itself was rushed and done very quickly - if trouble broke out on the Temple Mount, just on the other side of the Kotel, moving thousands of people to safety would be a logistical nightmare.

And the speakers spoke quickly...and it all zoomed past.

And then, as I walked away from the Old City, I saw the most amazing sight...young people were dancing with each of the Givati soldiers as they exited the gate. It was so special. I stood there and watched soldiers joining the teenagers. Often the teenagers handed the soldiers their flags and danced around them.

After  a few minutes, I walked away and as I walked, I began to cry. I'm so not ready for David to go in the army. I haven't had time to adjust...which is, of course, a terrible lie. I've known for 19 years that this day was coming. I've known from the day Shmulik left the army, that Davidi would follow a few years later. I had my break; my time to relax and not worry.

It's time to be a soldier's mother again. Actively. In pride, in fear. In trust, in worry.

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