Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The First Call

The first time your son calls you after entering the army special. It's the moment you know you'll survive this. It's the moment when you realize the earth is still turning, the sun still shining (or, in my case, the moon is still orbiting the earth). Sound a bit grandiose? Okay, so let's bring it down a level - it's the moment you take your first breath, that instance when you are unfrozen.

He went in on Monday morning. We had some messages back and forth but we didn't speak again until Tuesday night. I don't usually brag about my talents...whatever they may be...and am usually uncomfortable when others speak to me about things that I've done or can do. But I'll tell you one talent...and in this, I am possibly the most talented person in the entire world...I can think - faster, deeper, and with more creativity than ANYONE...about horrible things, scary things.

I hate horror movies because I know that whatever I watch will work its way into my mind and I'll think and dream about it for weeks. No, thank you! The world is scary enough.

So by Tuesday afternoon when Davidi hadn't called, I was sure that his phone was broken or stolen. I was mostly convinced that he was physically okay because I know enough about the army to know that they have not yet given these new recruits guns (they haven't), and from stories that Elie told me about his first day in, they barely leave them alone. So, I knew...well, as much as you can KNOW anything (which with the army isn't very much, but go with me here)...I knew he was okay so therefore, logically, if he hasn't called, his phone must have met some fatal accident.

Now, having killed more phones than I am willing to admit...I am very original in how this can be done and let me tell you, from experience, it isn't that hard. So, yeah, I was sure his phone was gone, lost, finished...well, not sure...but maybe, right? Did I mention you should go with me on this?

Well, you don't have to...he called last night, "Ima, I can't talk for long. I only have 6 minutes." They're given an hour to shower, get ready for the next day, call their parents etc. And so he called. He is fine. He's sleeping in a building. I know that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment but one of the things I was told about Givati is that they sleep (still) in tents - even in the cold of the rain and the winter. It rarely rains warm in Israel. When there is rain, it's a storm. Those gentle, warm rains of summer days and nights - no, not in Israel. The rain comes in with the wind and the cold and then blows out bringing warm winter days...until the next round.

So, having a son sleeping in the tent in the winter...not a happy thought. Especially as...have I confessed this before?...I cook babies. Oh wait, no - not really. I can see all the anti-Semitic sites on the internet ...
"Israeli mother admits to cooking babies in latest proof that the blood libels of the Middle Ages was in fact truth. It has long been suspected that Jews drain the blood out of good Christian children and use it to bake Passover Matzo. Now, one Israel mother admits that she regularly cooked her children."
No, really, I didn't. What I did was smother them, no, no - bad word. Okay, so I was always terrified that they'd be cold - those cute little was I supposed to know if they were cold? You want me to believe those doctors? That if I don't need more than a sweater, they don't either? No way - blankets! Hats! Cover them up and cuddle them...that's my philosophy and I have five beautiful children who survived all that I managed to do to them. Cold...I can assure you that my children were probably NEVER cold...overheated, maybe; sweating under blankets even in the summer...definitely, but cold...never.

Davidi, knowing my constant nagging, knew just what to say. I've told most of my kids, "put on a sweater! I'm cold." And now, I see the army put a building around my son, a roof over his head, a solid floor to keep out the chill of the desert sands...that makes me a happy parent.

His unit is the first Givati group to be housed in...well, houses. No tents for them. (And no, I did NOT call the army and beg them to put a roof over their heads.)

So - in less than 6 minutes, he's fine. He's good. He's happy. He's with friends. I forgot to ask him his commander's name...he's in a building...I didn't ask if it had heating and air conditioning...and he's coming home this weekend! Oh, and his phone is fine.


Dayna Glantz said...

This is so great!!
You couldn't have captured it better.
May all our kids have a safe and healthy length of service.

John Dowling said...

May God watch over him.

Dzeldaz said...

Paula - this was beautiful and you are not alone in your thoughts. Thank you for sharing. You help me feel calmer. Meeting you was wonderful! May all of our children and all of Israel be safe.

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