A Glimmer of Something Bigger
Today is a looonnnngggg day. And it’s not over yet.
I woke and made waffles, since tomorrow my daughter is being inducted. Give her a good breakfast til I see her next. Normally, it’s an endeavor to make them, but this morning it was done quickly, almost without thinking.
Off to the post office, the grocery, the vegetable market. Home again…Not even afternoon.
Cleaning, cooking pasta, bathrooms done…What? Not even time to make dinner.
To the computer – various business conversations, important, but not time consuming. Still not time yet to cook dinner.
Time ticks by one long second at a time…because tomorrow I give my baby to the army.
I know, in my head I know, G-d will take care of her, as he already has, when she’s away from me. But I can’t stop the tears. Should I show her I trust G-d? Should I be strong and tell her I’ll see her next weekend? Still the tears come….
And it’s not over yet.
UPDATE: Today my daughter left again for her army service after being home for the weekend. It was an uneventful weekend with the silly and normal conversations of what we want for dinner and who of her friends are dating who and checking bank account balances.
I say uneventful, but sometimes in the small conversations, I see a glimmer of something bigger and more important. We spoke about a friend who is being wooed by another soldier, and he is taking her outside the country for a vacation. My daughter is against it, especially since her friend hasn’t decided if she’s in love with this guy and it’s more or less the first person she’s dated. The real trouble, my daughter thinks, is this guy is too clingy and pushy and has told the girl that he loves her after only a few months. This is a VERY normal scenario in the Israeli army. It’s known in Israeli society that most people have found their mate for life in the army.
Why is that?
Well, I’m not a psychiatrist or social worker. But for the moment, this girl in the army is stuck. She can’t go anywhere. She can’t study. She can’t continue her life – she’s on hold. Now, some may say that’s a good thing because you can pause and consider what’s important. You can take stock of your life. For sure, the discipline of the army can be a good framework for some and teach character. For others with less patience and who feel frustrated at being still and stuck, this can lead to connections and entanglements that will grip you your whole life.
This girl is like a daughter to me and she has her whole life ahead of her. Will she sleep with this guy, maybe get pregnant or just married, and start a family before her army career is even off the ground?
The fact that 3 abortions used to be free for women in the military tells me that this is not an isolated incident. The fact that abortions are now UNLIMITED, makes me even more worried.
Besides the whole idea of “occupation,” or administering an area inhabited by another people group, besides the harassment and disruption of normal life for the Palestinians, there is a subtler problem for the Israeli public with their military.
And it’s a glimmer of a bigger problem.