Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thank you Stupid Terrorist

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for another sleepless night.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for essentially ruining summer vacation. For shortening tiyulim and date nights, for cancelling youth groups and camp trips.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for the all day long "ghost calls" of the siren in my ears. For teaching me that there are two types of sirens: a “tzfira”, when we stand and honor those whom other stupid terrorists before you have killed, and an “azaka”, when we run for shelter.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for making me the most unproductive I've ever been in my life: rotating between my phone and laptop for new updates and news, unable to focus on anything more.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for making me sit on edge for every hour of every day that my children are not by my side. For making my kids tremble with prayers on their lips.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for introducing me to a level of anxiety that my normally calm self was not aware I was capable of.

Thank you Stupid Terrorist for making us run, not once or twice, but FIVE times to our safe room.

Actually, now that I think about it, thank you Stupid Terrorist for the collective 50 minutes we spent in that safe room. It was the best hour of quality family time we had all week. I actually sat and talked to my family. We talked about how you, Stupid Terrorist, are trying your best to take us down but aren't really succeeding.

And, thank you, Stupid Terrorist, for showing us true greatness in the form of three mothers who have lost their sons, and yet somehow managed to strengthen an entire nation.

Thank you, Stupid Terrorist, for the unending love we feel from family and friends across the ocean. The phone calls, texts, and check-ins don’t stop. They love us and are with us. Even if you aren’t.

Also, thank you Stupid Terrorist for the support groups on Whatsapp and group chats on Facebook that have formed while you try to destroy us. I've made new friends and come even closer to the the old ones. You try so hard to pull us apart, and yet we only come closer together.

And really, thank you Stupid Terrorist for showing us how many supporters Israel really has around the world. For some reason for the first time ever, it doesn't feel like everyone is on your side.

Most important of all, thank you Stupid Terrorist for reminding me why we are here. Even with rockets flying and a very, very uncertain next couple of weeks, one thing has become crystal clear. That you, Stupid Terrorist, while you try to spread your evil, hurt my people and steal my land, never have I felt closer to her and all my people.

So, thank you stupid, Stupid Terrorist for rooting us even stronger, deeper, and more committed to Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael than ever.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 15

Another post from bed on my phone after another very long day, so bear with me again please!

Today I'm very grateful to a friend who, although I haven't known her all that long, has alteady taught me many invaluable lessons--the most important one? To always take care of #1! It seems like it wouldn't be so hard, but with a houseful of kids and a crazy life, I always seem to put myself last. She's reminded me (and often needs to insist!) that I do things for myself, even if only occasionally.

I wish I knew why I find this so challenging. Why for other people this is a healthy part of living, but why whenever I do something for myself I feel overwhelmingly guilty! Don't make judgements-it has nothing to do with how I was raised or how my husband treats me. No one had ever treated me even a little bit badly, it's

But with the help of this friend I'm starting to figure it out. I'm starting to realize that stopping for coffee   for JUST ME, or buying MYSELF an overpriced, bad, not-even-American-novel is ok! So, my friend, thank you for helping me be me, and for helping me find myself again. Thank you for mall trips and lunches, coffee and pedicures.

And even though they might not know it yet, my family thanks you too. Cuz' if Momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 14

Today I'm grateful for a lot of things: That Hurricane Sandy is slowing down. That everyone I know in it's path is safe and sound.

But today I'm especially thankful for my Nachman. In the past, I've shied away from giving my kids' names, but here it's fitting to mention him and his name.

My husband has Breslov roots. Back before it was a fad, or the thing to do, him and his father and brothers made the yearly trip to Uman in the Ukraine for Rosh Hashana to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. Recently, it's been harder for him to get there every year and harder for me to send him every year, but our strong Breslov connection remains.

Nachman is our youngest of six, and he has 4 older brothers. Every time I was expecting (and I usually knew what I was having in advance), TPH would gently put in a vote for the name "Nachman". Almost always I veto'ed it immediately. Too Talmudic. Too outdated. Too 'Jewish' (Awkward in an American Park Setting). Too much of a mouthful. It never appealed to me, and being the smart man that he is, TPH did not push it.

Cut to: Time #6 in the labor and delivery room. Unlike with our other children, this time we really did not have a name picked out. We spent most of the hours in the hospital discussing possible names, not coming to any that we could agree on. I knew it was a boy, but TPH wanted to be kept in suspense (yes, that is hard, but that's for another time). He kept saying throughout the pregnancy, "All we need now is a red headed boy or a blond girl."

And a red headed boy it was. A perfect, beautiful red-fuzzed baby boy -- with seemingly no name in the near future. We were stumped. TPH went home, took care of the other kids, brought them to ooh and ahh over our newest addition, and then left me and the Little Guy alone for the night. How I stared at him wondering what we could call him.

That night, our dog (a puppy actually, he was only a few months old) ran away. I still like to tell myself he was looking for me, his favorite owner whom he last saw in much distress. TPH was besides himself with exhaustion (physical and emotional) after spending all day with me in the hospital, then all night juggling the kids and looking for the dog. Around midnight he gave up. We cried to each other on the phone in the hospital, both feeling terribly guilty that we let such a thing happen, and helpless that there was nothing else we could do but hope that he was safe and call the pound in the morning. I hung up with TPH and lifted that perfect little sleeping baby out of his bassinet to hug. To comfort me.

And holding him and smelling that sweet newborn smell, suddenly all my troubles seemed to leave me. All my worries were gone. It was ok here and now because I had this little guy. And like a bolt of lightening, it hit me. He was going to be my Nachman, my "comforter". I called TPH first thing the next morning (woke him up actually!) to tell him my decision and make sure he was ok with it. The rest is history.

A story about a lost dog (who was brought to the local pound after being spotted a block away from our house, and returned to us early the next morning) may seem silly. But as always, Hashem knows what He's doing, and when they say there's Ruach Hakodesh (a Divine Inspiration) that comes along with the naming of a Jewish baby, it's not just some goose bump hokey pokey.

Hashem knew that in a few short years I'd be miles away from my family, a community that I love, and that in the midst of some pretty rough stuff, I'd need a comfort. And here he is. Oh boy, here he is! Always there with a hug or a smile, a joke or a very, very large temper tantrum,  he's there. He seems to know innately when I could really use that extra hug, and lately he's reverted a bit to sleeping in my bed every night. I don't move him. He comforts me like no one else. True to his name, he is my real Nachman, and I am grateful for him.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 13

Oish! Missed another day! I did promise a 30 day challenge, but who said anything about consecutive days, huh? Ok, ok, I'm trying!

Is it in bad taste today, as Hurricane Sandy is a'brewin' to be thankful today for the beautiful weather we have here in Israel in October? Each day is clear and crisp, warm but not hot, and there has to be something said for the fact that my kids are still in shorts and tees. I'll admit, the summer clothes here wear a lot harder, and after 7-8 months of heavy duty use, we more often "give away" than "put away".

But we spend afternoons at the park, on the "block" or in the yard, and although we're starting to need rain here, and I'm sure it's just around the corner, I have to be thankful for the most gorgeous days that we've had this past week. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 12

Today I'm grateful for Erev Shabbos. The only real day "off" beside Shabbos, here in Israel, we really start to appreciate Fridays. Much more so than in America, Friday here is actually a day to get out and do things; go out to breakfast, hikes/walks with the kids or just general family time. We've learned to cook most of Shabbos on Thursday night (ideally, not always :), and Friday is a family day. It's nice to work with the kids in the kitchen, or take a group to the grocery store, or just hang out with them. 

TPH and I enjoy our quiet Friday mornings together and usually try and get out in the morning for breakfast, or even just coffee and browsing and the bookstore. In a funny way, it has an almost Shabbos-like quality to it. I still miss my Sundays off, but am starting to really appreciate these Fridays as well. 

Have a great Shabbos!!

One of my (and the kids!) favorites: This must be at least the 3rd or 4th time posting this one here :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 11

Today I'm grateful for my car. Yeah, yeah, I know it's just a rental, it doesn't even fit my whole family in it at once, it's covered in heavy Israeli dust, and it smells like something had a really nice but short life in it. However, after being without one for a year and a half, I am very, very grateful. It's all about recognizing and being thankful for the small things. Cuz when we stop and think about it, sometimes those small things aren't that small at all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Gratitude Challenge Day 10

Oish! I missed a day! I've been working lots of hours and trying to keep everything together, so I often fall into bed well after 1am lately...

Last night was a "catch-up" night, and I was gently snoring by 9:30--so I forgot to post!

Today I'm thankful for my Sisters in law. Let's face it, when you marry into a family, you never know quite what you're gonna get! Being married to the second brother (of 4 boys) in the family, I was daughter-in-law number 2 to enter the fold, and I was so lucky to hit it off with my older SIL right away.

Over the next couple of years I became very close with my younger brothers-in-law, and like a protective older sister I was nervous about who they'd bring home. Those prospective girls had better be worthy of such great guys! 

One, and then the last, youngest brother-in-law got married, and with each time we were so lucky to have added another wonderful SIL to the family. We also hit it off right away, and have gotten only closer over the years. We don't speak often enough, but texting abounds. And sometimes that's even better. I know that they're always there for me, to kvetch to, to cry to, or to joke around with. Lately these three tremendous SISTERS have been a huge support to me, and I couldn't be more grateful for each of them in their own way.

It's a true gift to be able to say that not only are these my sisters in law, but some of my best friends as well.