Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Couple Days Off

We've spent the last couple of days with visiting family, and showing off this beautiful country of ours just doesn't get old. The first day we did the "Park at Mamilla Mall and Walk Through the Old City Thing". I've done that walk probably close to a hundred times over the years and it never gets boring; each time we discover new things or places we've never seen before. It also adds to the excitement to show our favorite spots to people who have never been here before. It makes it exciting all over again, and reminds us how much we love being here. Yes, we do need reminders sometimes!

That first day, once we reached the Kotel it was immediately apparent that somebody "important" was arriving at any moment. The not-so-secret Secret Service guys kind of gave it away, as did all the suits holding "White House" folders. Within 2 minutes of our arrival, Janet Napolitano, Director of US Homeland Security was getting out of one of a convoy of black SUVs. Very "24". I actually took this picture of her. We followed her around for a bit while she chatted with the Rabbi of the Kotel,  and then went down to the Kotel for an up close look. My only concern was, "Will the SS guys go into the Women's section??" The answer is no. They waited respectfully at the entrance to the women's courtyard. After that curiosity of mine was solved, I was bored with her visit and anyway had to deal with a small red head who was screaming at me to help him "Kiss the Wall! Kiss the Wall!", which we did, and frankly that was much more exciting than seeing my good friend Janet.

Then, yesterday we went to one of our favorite local places, the Bell Caves in Beit Guvrin National Park which is nearby enough to not be a big trip, but the kids love it, and it was good enough for our "official" trip for the day.

We also went to another section of the park we'd never been to, called the Sidonit Caves, where we found an old burial tomb from the time of the Greeks. This was probably the most exciting part of our trip since the boys spent the whole ten minutes terrifying each other about old bones and bodies still being in the carved out sections of the tomb. Death, Zombies, bones, mummies, somehow this stuff never gets old.

Today we went down to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea, but that is another post for a different time when my lids are not drooping down to my chin.

A bunch of you have asked me about my kids not being in school, and have asked why would we take them out?! I'll tell you the truth. I feel so differently about school here than I did when I was in the States. I'm sure there are a billion different factors. Maybe because I used to be with them at school, and am not any longer. Maybe because I realize that they are still on a major learning curve, and sometimes need more Mental Health Days than ever before. Or maybe because there are no Sundays, and I like to actually hang out with them! But none of these alone are the real reason. The real reason is that more than anything in the world, I want to show them the beauty of the land that Hashem has given us, and that we in turn have chosen. I want them to realize that their parents still revel in the beauty of this land even after being back and forth from here so many years. I want them to realize that it is where we want them to be, but more importantly where we want them to want to be. Does that make any sense?

So maybe after days filled with packed lunches, too much Bamba and lots of renditions of "Old MacDonald", we'll give over something worthwhile. It's worth a shot.


SaraK said...

I think you guys are awesome parents. Kids learn outside of school, too. These are the moments they will remember.

Wendy said...

Do I really need to say it? Nah. You guys rock. Zeh hu.