It was about 10 o’clock and I finally had the boy calm and rocking in my arms, reading superficial feature stories in the cyber New York Times. I was between starting breakfast and finishing breakfast, because Koala really needed to be held.
Then I heard The Siren pierce my world outside.
For a split second I thought, what’s today? and then I shot up, grabbed my phone and his pacifier with my free hand, and dashed up the stairs to the mamad. I practically dropped Koala on the bed, slammed the door, and went for the window. The window is stubborn, and at a certain point I just let it go; I experienced the nothing could possibly happen to me I have a little innocent baby here rationalization. And besides, Koala was crying too hard so I picked him up and sat in the corner of the room by the door, staring outside at the sunny day.
Note: Never let sunny days fool you – a sunny Tuesday in 2001 changed everything for the worse.
The siren finally ended and I just kept staring while my mind raced, what comes next?
I remembered my phone next to me and called my husband, at work in Jerusalem.
“Did you just have a siren in Jerusalem?”
“A siren? No…”
“We just had a siren.”
“What kind of siren?”
“A bomb siren.”
He checked the news, and lo and behold, a siren drill was posted at 8 am to take place at 10 am in the Beit Shemesh region.
Thankyouverymuch. I don’t read real news anymore.
But now I know what it’s like when (you think) it’s not a drill.
My heart is still racing and the taste of vomit lingers in the back of my throat.