Yesterday, for the second time in a week, I asked a new immigrant how things were going and she answered, “Fine, thanks,” to immediately start crying.
When my first daughter was born, I only felt comfortable to talk about the hurricane of emotions that had flooded me to whom already knew motherhood. That it is beautiful, everyone knows and expects to hear. That it can also be terribly maddening, only those who have lived it could possibly understand. And without any judgment, could say that it will soon pass. Because it will.
Moving to another country was, alongside motherhood, the strongest experience I have ever had. And when someone asks, “What’s it like?” There’s no theory or answer that comes close to what I would really like to say. It’s not only beautiful, it’s not only a relief, it’s not only walking the streets without any fear, it’s not only better for the kids, it’s not only seeking the future, it’s not only starting over, it’s not only having no past, it’s not only a crap, it’s not only knowing that your children will not have grandparents around nor will they be able to play with their cousins on weekends, not only having no guarantor to rent an apartment, not only having no references or looking for books with your children and having none to say “this one I read in my childhood and it’s awesome”, it’s not only knowing that you rocked all your structures, it’s not only waking up some days thinking “why the hell did I decide to cross the ocean?” for in others, to be sure the world is too big to go through life without exploring it, is not only believing yourself as an incredibly strong and different and awesome person, not only being sure that your courage changed your children’s future, it’s not only watching, proud, they growing up in Israel, gaining wings and becoming giants. No, not only.
And that’s why this week, twice I answered:
– I do know, I really do.
Because everything is fine, even though it’s also not.
And it will soon pass.