Monday, July 4, 2016

Home Away Home Away Home Away

One of the hardest things you have to adjust to as a parent in the army, is that moment when on a whim, the army changes your life. It was all set. David would be home last Shabbat and this coming Shabbat.

And then, it was changed to not this Shabbat and not next Shabbat, but instead two days in the middle of the week. It was about finding the good in that. He usually comes home on Friday, exhausted and needing to rest. Laundry, sleep, Shabbat, packing, and back to the army. If he is lucky, he goes out Saturday night to see some friends or meets others in the neighborhood. Often, not even that.

Reconciled to him having more time to do things and go places, I accepted that I would find a way to be home a bit during those two days; maybe we'd all go out to dinner at least or try to organize a family dinner...

And then it changed again, he won't be coming home today or tomorrow. Now, he will come home Thursday and be home for the Shabbat he wasn't supposed to be here.

It shows, in a way, the growth that I have achieved as a soldier's mother. The first time Elie called and said he wouldn't be coming home after all, I was very upset. Almost enough to call some non-existent officer in the army, whose telephone and name I didn't know, and demand they send my baby home.

Now, I accept it so much more easily; feel so much less devastated. He'll be home when he can; perhaps if I am lucky and blessed and it is quiet this summer, maybe he'll be able to join us on a family vacation near the end of the summer. For now, I tell myself not even to hope.

He'll be home this weekend. I'll hold on to that and hope it's true. I'll accept that really nothing matters beyond him being safe.

For now, he has been given a job that he finds somewhat boring and yet, it is actually a measure of their trust in him, a recognition that he can handle this added responsibility. So, he isn't outside there at the checkpoint right now but rather inside an air-conditioned place, at least for now. I can't really complain, though he will a bit.

It has always been, from the very first, a lesson in learning to take each day as it comes. For perhaps one of the first times, after more than eight years of this, I guess it is finally sinking in. The disappointments aren't so deep; the excitement banked until he actually walks through the door.

Day by day. It is the only way, when you are a soldier's mother (or father, or wife, or sister, or brother).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paula, 40 years ago Israel reminded the rest of the free world what could be done by men of courage. Happy Entebbe day.

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