Over the course of all the Jewish holidays, school was not in session for many days. There was no lack of bonding time, and plenty of “kids-annoying-each-other-time”. It also opened my eyes to the many ways my kids are becoming more and more Israeli. It puts the biggest smile on my face when they “sound” Israeli. My heart literally begins palpitating as I hear them roll the letter R or when they put their fingers together and say shnia (just a second).
Feel free to add your own ways your kids are becoming or already are Israeli in the comments below.
You know your child has become Israeli WHEN:
they know more “bad words” in Hebrew than in English..
(You’d think this would make me upset- but in fact, I laugh. I probably shouldn’t. It’s just that the accent is so darn cute. Ok, I really should put an end to it!)
they have fun playing the “don’t step in the poop” game while walking down the street with their siblings..
(Ok this one is really gross. We actually dodge out of the way at the last millisecond before the soles of our shoes make contact with the very fresh dog poop left on the sidewalk. I will not be in a good mood if my children track that into the apartment! But it is funny to listen to them scream out to the people behind them “Watch out for the POOP!“
Again. I shouldn’t laugh at this.)
they find any space on the bus to sit on when it’s crowded..
(While taking the bus to and from town, the mall, or the other various city sites, my kids have more fun standing and falling as the bus weaves its way around the tight city streets. Normally I don’t allow them to stand or sit on various non-seats, but how excited they become when an elderly person gets on the bus! They happily stand up to offer their seat! Even more fun for them to stand in the accordion center of the bus.)
they’re more excited for an ice coffee than they are for ice cream..
(If ever there is an errand I need to take the kids on that they do not want to go on, I simply say, “but I’ll buy you an ice coffee,” and they go on the errand without a fuss! Thanks to Cofix 5 shekel ice coffees, I stay within my budget!)
they beg us for a Rav Kav bus card for their birthday present..
(This must not sound remotely real. But it is! My son just wants a bus pass. He wants to ride the bus and use his own card. I’m not objecting. I have a slight feeling he may resent his request after the first couple of times he uses it. We’ll see!)
(Ok fine, I’ll have a backup present too)
they’d rather wait 10 minutes for the Shabbat elevator, than climb up 7 flights of stairs..
(This may just be applicable to any city dwelling child in any apartment building. They love the elevator all week. They absolutely hate the stairs on Shabbat. They’d rather stand around waiting for the excruciatingly slow Shabbat elevator instead of running up the stairs with me…I’m only slightly out of breath by the time I reach the door to the apartment.)
they see their classmate in the park and yell out to them in fluent Hebrew..
(We were sitting in the park with family when I heard my son yell to a classmate in Hebrew “Hii! Ma Koreh?” “Hey! What’s happening?” Then they did this handshake that only 3rd grade boys can pull off and continued talking in fluent Hebrew. My daughter said to me, “Why is your mouth open?” I told her that it doesn’t seem like I have so many opportunities to hear them talking in Hebrew as they’re in school 6 days a week. Whereby she responded, “Don’t remind me!”)
they’re not fazed by their dirty feet but I want to cringe..
(They run outside all day in a sand covered country. It makes sense that Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) had to wash his feet before walking towards G-d in the burning bush. Feet get dirty in the Middle East. I just ask that they wash them as soon as they get home before they start jumping in their beds.)
they beg me to check their hair daily to make sure they don’t have lice..
(The idea of lice makes me physically sick. The first time we were unlucky to experience lice, I cried. I just cried. I also didn’t talk about it, anywhere. How very embarrassing. In Israel, many say- “Ein Ma Laasot” “There’s nothing to do!” Yes. Yes there is. Pick out the lice. Don’t go to school with lice. Combat the problem. Stop spreading it!
Well, you can just imagine how I reacted. I freaked out. Completely. It was 10pm at night. I called The Lice Lady in New Jersey. L’via Weisinger. She’s the best in the world. She walked me through the process. It took a day and everything was clean. Well. That’s why we check. Because we don’t want to ever go through the LICE TORTURE again. Even though. I am sure we will. G-d help me.)
they play soccer, collect soccer player cards, and no longer care about American Football..
(The most exciting thing that may have happened was when an Israeli Soccer player, in all his Beitar Jerusalem gear walked out of the front door of the building next to us. “He’s on my Super Goal card!” We weren’t fast enough to chase him down. And we have yet to see him again. For all we know, he was just visiting someone in the building. We’ll stick to the cool story that he lives in our Apartment complex and we play soccer practice in the grassy courtyard. 😉 Yes, that’s a good story.
they drink from a public water fountain immediately after a random dog slobbered all over it..
(Imagine this: The child played for an hour straight in the sun, climbing, swinging, running.. And then, before you can stop them, you see them running toward the water fountain to quench their thirst. They are completely unfazed by the adorable dog that shared that same water fountain no more that 2 minutes ago. You on the other hand wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole, even though you love dogs 😉 )
For all these reasons and so many more, I am proud to say my children are acclimating to the Israeli lifestyle just fine. Please G-d it should continue.
I’m sure there are many more ways children are by definition “Israeli” and I’m looking forward to finding out as we go along. I can’t wait to read all your ideas below!