Ever Wondered Where Your Kids Were
The following is an account written by a mother (Alice), following an incident in which a rocket was accidentally shot over the border into Israel, originating from the conflict in Syria. It represents a far too common reality and the accompanying worries that dwell in the back of the minds of so many parents here, with civil war in Syria, threats from ISIS and Hezbollah, and a continued cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Have you ever just taken a moment at work and thought, “Gee, I wonder where my kids are right now?” And the answer is, “–Oh, in school. Yeah, they get out at 2pm today.”
I had that moment today. I have those moments often, but today was a bit different. I can’t say it’s the first time that this has happened, but it’s not the normal, everyday response to my question. Today the answer was, “In the bomb shelter, under the high school.”
I just got off the phone after talking with or texting my kids, my husband, and my parents to make sure everyone was okay – everyone accounted for. I’m in my office in Jerusalem and 3 hours away, at my home in the north, a siren is going off because two rockets fell only 10 minutes from the house!
It’s every mother’s (and father’s) nightmare. The sirens go off and you’re not there. The kids are taken care of by their teacher, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as being there.
Now the questions come faster, “Were they scared? Are they okay? Was anyone hurt?” “What about my elderly parents-are they okay?” “Do they even know there was a rocket attack, or did they think it was a drill?” And, “Where’s my husband? Should I send him to get the kids at school and bring them home?”
There is no end to these questions and they come in a flash. They are asked before you realize you’re asking them.
It takes a while, but eventually the adrenaline stops and you calm down once you know everyone is safe. For now.