The backpacks are packed and lined up neatly by the door. The floor is washed. For the most part, lunches are made. Kids and TPH are snoring softly, and I am the only one still wide awake with real "day before school starts" jitters.
Everything that you have heard from me until now is all for this moment. We are embarking now on the rest of our lives as true Israelis, enrolling our kids in schools of our choosing, schools that will help us mold and shape them into the Bat Yisrael and Bnei Yisrael that we have envisioned each of them to be from the moment we were entrusted with them. Tomorrow we begin to truly give them Torat Eretz Yisrael.
This week has been absolutely crazy. There is no other way to describe it. We have schlepped from meeting to meeting, from school to school, from classroom to classroom, and met teacher after teacher. We have spoken with principals, guidance counselors, and countless other parents who range from completely clueless to totally helpful in every way. We have met kids that have been through the system, and kids that are starting fresh like our own. Our kids have bounced around with us from place to place, watching, waiting, absorbing.
Surprisingly, they seem OK. It seems like the excitement, the potential of what is out there is balancing out the jitters and nerves. Yes, they are terrified of all of the basics (think MATH, SCIENCE, etc) in Hebrew. But after all of these meetings, they (the big ones) are finally starting to understand why we have uprooted them from the comfort of their home, from their family and friends to come here.
Everything here is real. I don't know how better to explain it. When the principal of the boys' school stands up and talks for 1/2 hour about love for each and every person, and each and every Jew, and each and every Rabbi that teaches Torah, the whole move has been worth it. When I see the "old" girls welcoming the new girls with huge smiles and outstretched arms, the whole move has been worth it. When I pack my daughter's bag with Mishnayos, the whole move has been worth it.
Don't get me wrong, and don't think that I still have my "aliyah glasses" on. I left those waaaay back in 2002. :) I know that tomorrow will also be the beginning of some very hard times ahead of us. Homework, friends, language, the challenges are in front of us, and cannot be ignored. But when I step inside those buildings tomorrow and officially send my children off with a heart full of prayer I'll know and will not doubt that this whole move has been worth it.