When my boys were small I encouraged them to play with building blocks.
I was still a relatively new immigrant and I didn’t allow them to play with guns. Whenever they received a toy gun as a gift, I made the object “disappear” quite quickly. Even T-shirts with pictures of tanks and fighter planes rarely made it into their closet.
After all, we were peace loving people.
Today, while I’m with my youngest child visiting the family in the Bay Area where crunchy granola children still don’t play with guns (but school shootings pose a real threat), my husband travels three hours to see my second child in a basic training base……somewhere in Israel.
It’s 102 degrees (40 Celsius) and the only available shade is the plastic gazebo he brought with him. Also, the Paella he prepared and the cold drinks he packed are a welcome treat after a week of eating battle rations and crawling through the desert landscape carrying equipment of more than half his body weight.
I know I confuse people on all sides of the political spectrum. I don’t fit into the box. I spent the better part of the past two decades working in the “peace industry”.
On the other hand, I couldn’t be any prouder of my young adult children. While their counterparts in other places attend college and party, my two oldest boys are investing their best years carrying out compulsory IDF military service – with pride, with grit, with commitment and hopefully, with the values their father and I have worked so hard to instill into them.