Time was, once upon a time, that being a good mother entailed making sure that my children had all the attention that I could give them, all the love that I could give them, plus some discipline, worry that they were dressed correctly, had good school and friend situations, good educational opportunities outside of school, and...again....lots of love.
And then, they grow up.
Ariella is in Tzfat now. Not because she's volunteering or assisting in any way. But because she doesn't have anywhere else to take her dog. The dog is huge, a bit wild, loud, and no one (me included) wants it around. So she's living on her own in our house, with no fully sheltered room. Doesn't leave, hangs out on her own....how do I manage to help her learn to make good, healthy decisions for herself? Whatever I say, it's "oh, ema, enough!" But there she is, sitting in katyusha-country, doing nothing.
Then, there's Avishai. Twenty years old and today he's burying two friends...guys who have been in his unit in the army for the past two years. Avishai was in punnishment for a week and "missed" his unit's first incursion into Lebanon -- an action which resulted in the deaths of two wonderful soldiers, friends, mates, and the wounding of his officer. I spoke to him today as he was with his officer in Rambam hospital. His plans for the day included staying with his officer until one of the funerals which was to be held in Haifa, and then going to Katzrin, in the Golan, where the rest of his unit is stationed to continue on with them whatever they will be doing.
And there was nothing to say to him. "I'm sorry". Two young men who had their lives ahead of them, and who are now being buried because they chose, as my son has, to fight to protect their country and families. My heart aches for their families, for my son, for all his friends -- twenty years old. Nothing.
Took Margalit and the kids whose families I am staying at to the zoo today.