My two strapping teenage sons just walked out the door five minutes ago. One (D) is returning to his (relatively safe) service as a driver in the army. The other (Y), brimming with the excitement and hope of a youth headed for a “man’s job”, is entering the army today as a soldier in “Givati”. This means that for the next three years he will be a member of Israel’s front-line troupes, as well as a lifetime of reserve duty. The next few weeks will be extra-intensive as he competes for the privilege of entering an elite unit. As a mother, I try and ignore the worries and fears that pop up in my head*, and center my thoughts on just loving the two of them.
I remember how the first few weeks in the army radically changed my first soldier-son (D). And I wonder how well Y will take the initial training period, and how he might change in the upcoming weeks.
*(Don’t ask me how I will deal with my fears if a war breaks out.)