Wednesday, September 21, 2016

8 Years and Counting

What kind of aliyah blog is this anyway, if I let our 8th aliyahversary pass with nary a mention? So first I thought, but what is there to say, really? Then I thought, you all have come all this way, all the way over to my blog, so I should say something, at least. 

Well, 8 years later, Donny and I are as fresh-faced and youthful looking as we were in 2008. As if that had to be said. However the 5 year old who got shoved into gan not knowing a word of Hebrew and the 2 year old whose massive diaper in the bank as we were trying to set up our account is STILL something Donny and I recall with a shudder – well, they have aged greatly. Plus the three little eye twinkles are now full-fledged kiddos. The house is full of Heblish and one child has no clue when “January” is (“It’s around Shvat” I have to tell him.) But, the 3 talkers speak fluently in both languages so yay for that. I, however, do not. (“Mommy, when you read me that book, it not sound so good.”) But as Chief Family Communicator with Outside Parties, I think that I get on pretty well with what I need to do, mainly doctors (“We’re baaack!”) and teachers. So I think I get a kappayim for that as well.

I am still, and will forever be, an immigrant parent, though I now do understand “nyloniot.” At least, I understand what they are, if not the Israelis’ unbridled love and devotion to them. With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer “aliyah” moments that I feel the need to run to the computer and regale you with. Also, let’s face it, I’m tired. Too tired to think, write, form coherent sentences – and definitely not all 3 simultaneously, which blogging kind of depends on. These kids are constantly needing things, like rides, food, money and attention. The big ones go to sleep late so there’s none of that “quiet evening” anymore. And the babies still haven’t figured out how to sleep through the night, and now we’ve become the type of parents who bribe one baby to sleep with the sword (foam, don’t worry, we’re THAT type of parents) because the other one already claimed the little plastic broom. (They use “we need security objects” as a way to push off going to sleep. They think they’re rather clever and we haven’t cottoned on, but really, we have totally cottoned, we’re just too tired to argue. Or maybe that’s what they were counting on the whole time? So they’ve gone to sleep clutching everything ranging from the normal – stuffed animals – to the whaaaa???? -- mommy’s sneakers.) 

Anyway…back to aliyah thoughts, which is what we were talking about, right? Even though the memories of our own aliyah are getting more and more distant and fuzzy, I still get anxiety when I see the fresh olim coming every summer. It brings back all the feelings, most of them "stress" and "omgwhatarewedoing." They're asking all the questions. Looking for a place to live. Trying to meet people, get their kids set up, figure out the Israeli doctors, schools, shopping and sirens. (Although perhaps aliyah has gotten even easier than it was 8 years ago, because it seemed the most pressing question by the latest batch of olim was “How can I watch American TV?”)

Making Aliyah was probably the hardest thing I ever did, and I include my drug-free-by-accident birth AND a twin pregnancy in that statement. In fact, you see that it is harder than childbirth because while I did go on to have more children even after the epidural-less one, if you said to me now, ‘Go back to America and make aliyah all over again,” I would say “If you need me, I’ll be over at Dunkin’ Donuts, with my English, my magazines and my blueberries.” So I am thankful that I am here, I am thankful that Donny and I are raising little Israelis – if perhaps always a bit on the periphery ourselves (“So what did Daddy do when he was in the tzavah?” “Um.”). And honestly, I am very thankful I never have to do it again. So kappayim to Israel, to the awesome view from my mirpeset, to kafe hafuch, even if they are never large enough, to my fellow immigrant parents who always “get it” and of course to you, the loyalest of all Loyal Readers, who come by even when I don’t really have much to say at all.