Wednesday, November 21, 2012

swirling thoughts #223 - It’s normal to have a strategy

Everyone’s got a strategy – depending on their situation.

For my kids, it’s how they’ll walk to school so that they are not more than a minute from a bomb shelter (go up the street behind the school because there are more houses - in case they need to run into one).

For me it’s how we will sleep in the house at night in Bob’s absence (Barbara in my bed;  if need be, she will grab the baby, I will grab Peetoosh, we will call to the others simultaneously to wake up and get down to the bomb shelter).

For my friend, it’s how her son will return to school in Qiryat Arba when there is stoning on the road (Egged bus with bullet proof windows and armed bus driver).

For a friend returning to Jerusalem from Sderot, after a morning full of missile attacks, it’s how best to exit the car should there be another a tzeva adom (red alert) siren blast while he is driving (seatbelt off until after Beer Sheva).

Thank God for family
I have spoken to our Tel Aviv relatives more in the past week than I have in the past 3 months.
In just one day:
Missile in Tel Aviv – yes, they’re okay.
Baruch Hashem.
Missile in Gush Etzion – yes, we’re okay.
Baruch Hashem.
Stoning on the road in Gush Etzion – yes, we’re okay.
Baruch Hashem.
Bus bomb in Tel Aviv – yes, they’re okay.
Baruch Hashem.

Actually, we’re all family
Every phone call from someone’s son or husband is celebrated by everyone within earshot and our collective breath is held indefinitely as we await word from sons and husbands who have not yet called.

I asked my brother if our mom ever canceled a dentist appointment because she didn’t want to risk having to jump out of the car on the highway in order to shelter us with her body in the event of a missile attack. It was a rhetorical question but it underlined a reality we are living here. The younger (read: more Israeli) children, seem to have a better handle on this nutty reality. One friend, distraught in her bomb shelter, was comforted by her four year old who reminded her, very matter-of-factly, “In the mamad we read books and say tehillim and stay safe, Eema.”  I’m not sure I can fully articulate our reality but our Tel Aviv cousin keeps trying.

To live here is to have a beautiful life in a beautiful land but also – sometimes – balagan (craziness). 

Peetoosh started every other sentence today with “When the bomb comes, I will…”.

Having a strategy is normal. Even when the situation is not.

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