I admit, Sunday mornings are hard – like Mondays in the US – having to get back to a new week of routine and responsibility. The weekend here in Israel is abridged but still, it’s tough to say goodbye. Young parents might breathe a sigh of relief after successfully dropping the kids off at kindergarten and seeing them onto the school bus, returning to the relative calm of an adult office with coffee in hand, rather than mushed carrots on shoulders. Older parents like me might feel the acute quiet after the storm – the weekend hubbub of kids returning to the nest, replaced by the quiet of their absence during the week.
I also admit that I’m working on letting go. From Day 1, we teach them to feed themselves, to go off to school and brave the playground; we encourage them to take baby steps all along. And we fall into bed exhausted from the days’ chores, on top of keeping a household together, homework done and our own professions successful. Don’t even start with me on the unfolded laundry waiting on the guest bed.Then suddenly (yes really!) they’re deciding where to go next. High school diploma in hand, our Israeli kids choose how to serve their country at the young-old age of 18. And we fight back the tears, concentrate on the pride, and go forward. Attend those milestones – finishing basic training, first semester of college, a new apartment to decorate with Ikea or hand-me-downs. Always proud.
This is what we hoped and prayed for – that they’ll grow up to be good. To do good, to study, to make a difference, to find self-fulfilment and a good partner along the way. And yet, that kvetch in your throat on Sunday morning, when everyone disperses.
So the guy at the bakery will have to put up with my tears. It’s a comforting routine on the way home from an early drop-off, driving our young soldier to his train when the military reclaims him on Sunday morning, weapon in hand and homemade cookies in bag. With a knowing smile, the baker pours my coffee and adds a danish for my ride home – virtually wiping away the tears of a worried mom.
I do feel like I belong here, on this Sunday morning, among people who’ve all done it – served, sent their kids to serve, return for reserve duty – and now nod to me, understanding and together in our coffee and our pride.
Have some coffee and get to work, knowing all is as it should be. Happy week!