|Saying a temporary goodbye to an old friend?|
My youngest baby -- all 183 centimeters of him -- is being inducted into the Israeli Defense Forces on Sunday.
And my face isn't exactly melting. But my heart is beating more rapidly than it usually does.
You might ask why this has my attention, when all of that brutal activity on the gridiron just has my awe and pride, rather than my fear. (See the short video at the end of this post, and watch for Number 20. How does he do that????) Many mothers have pointed out to me, in the most loving possible terms, that there is something wrong with a mother who doesn't freak out about her kid playing American football. But it's just who Sports Guy has always been. Taking the essence of my children away from them in order to keep them safe has never been my style. So I just don't think about the danger. Except for those isolated moments, late at night, when the prayer and the bargaining with G-d sneak in...
All of Sports Guy's brothers are or have been soldiers. I spend a lot of time not thinking about this, focusing instead on my gratitude and pride in them for their service to our country, and on the fascination of watching their adult selves emerging from the boys I'd raised with their excellent father.
Suddenly, the baby of the brothers is changing uniforms. From the orange and green of the Judean Rebels to the olive drab of the army. He's not more special to me than his brothers. I have been blessed to have such extraordinarily different sons that Soldier Boy is my favorite. And Yeshiva Bochur is my favorite. And Stunt Man is my favorite. And Sports Guy is my favorite. And SamJam is my favorite. It's just the end of an era... and it's always hardest to say farewell to the last guy out the door.
While the Dearly Beloved and I have already discovered that we like the empty nest (as long as the chicks fly home every once in a while), today through Sunday and a while after will feel a little odd. And then will be the day he comes back home in uniform...
|We'll just keep cheering you on, Brothers.|