This past Shabbat, we were sitting around the dining room table enjoying the delicious foods I had cooked based on everyone’s specific preferences. Roasted asparagus for my oldest, pumpkin muffins for my son, and cauliflower for his twin sister, just to name a few. Conversations ensued, expected fights amongst the kids broke out, and laughter and giggles over the silliest things filled the room.
Then conversation turned to talking about the summer. You see, we will be traveling to America for the summer. My kids will be in the camp I work in with their friends and we will have the opportunity to spend time with our family that I miss deeply. Even though we’re thrilled to go, it won’t be easy to leave Israel for so long. I had mentioned this to a friend, about how nervous I am about returning to the states for a long period of time. She comforted me by saying the following, “By returning to Israel after the long trip to America, it will validate your original decision to move to Israel.” Such an enlightening thing to say! Needless to say, she made me feel much better.
Then my husband posed the following questions to the kids:
Are you excited to go to America?
A resounding “YES!”
Are you going to miss Israel?
Another collective “YES!” (Thank God!)
Aliza responded, “You know Daddy, I love Israel!”
My husband: “I know! So tell me what do you love about it?”
Aliza: “I love everything about it. You know Daddy, I take after Mommy!!”
I literally choked on my diet coke, the bubbles filling my nasal canal! She takes after me!
So I asked her, “What does that mean, Aliza?”
“Well, I love everything about Israel.
I love speaking Hebrew,
and seeing the Israeli flags fly from all the porches.
I love my new friends in school, because they are my new best friends.
But I still miss my best friends in America..”
She is really like me, so tangential!
She continued, “I love going to the mall on the bus and hearing all the messages in Hebrew. Even if I don’t understand them all.
I love all the yummy new foods you buy in the shuk. Like, I never had a persimmon or shesek (loquat) before we moved here! I never even got to pick a shesek off the tree before living here! AAh! I just love living here so much!”
I guess she really does sound like me. I can say that I am so happy I’m having a positive Israeli influence on my children. Even though she was the most vocal, (If you know her, you’d understand that she is always the most vocal) the other 2 kids feel the same way, evident from the nodding of their heads.
So even though I am nervous about taking the family to America for 2 months, after acclimating them here in Israel for so long, I do think ultimately it will be ok. Because they really are so happy here.Most of the time. It’s been such a wonderful, successful year. More than I could have ever imagined. They have acclimated well beyond my expectations. And their Hebrew accents are amazing- especially when they roll their R’s. I will never be able to- trust me, I’ve tried. I look and sound completely foolish!
If you are someone that has made Aliyah recently or are planning to move to Israel, or haven’t even contemplated it until right this moment, always feel free to reach out. I am happy to answer any and all questions you might have. I was lucky to have a support system in place here before we moved to help us out. If you don’t have one, I’d be happy to be that support. Really.
So all in all, if you are planning to leave Israel for a short period of time, just take my friend’s advice. Realize that each time you come back, you validate your original decision to live in Israel. I will have that on my mind until we return.