Koala update: Seventeen months.

Koala,

For a while now, I feel like I can talk to you. Mainly because, not only do you understand, you talk back.

Two things I can’t help noticing this month: you’re awfully clever and you’re very social. I’m thinking the first one must be some influence from your recently oleh-d uncle, though your shenanigans have been making us laugh for months.

The second – I don’t know, I’m guessing that skips a generation. Since you started your gan a month ago, you have been all over other kids, your own age group or not. Erev Yom Kippur, at shul, it was insanely fun to watch you walk up to groups of kids and just sit with them. Or clap when seeing an ‘old’ friend from your last metapelet. Or just babble to whoever would listen. Part of it is probably toddler-brand bravery, but part of it is your personality – which works for me, as you’re destined to grow up with immigrant parents.

You’re intense though. For all your highs, you can sure make us crazy with your passionate anger and your easy frustration. Friday night we tried going out for dinner for the first time since you were an infant, and relearned very quickly why we stopped doing that a long time ago. It was a display of your need for sleep routine, your easy distraction and your overtired acting out; a cruel reminder of what it’s like to fly with you.

But you also managed to entertain your hosts, carry on with charisma and make everyone laugh as you randomly, for the first time, pointed to a doll and started saying ‘bay-beh’ like an Elvis impersonator. Then you wouldn’t stop. Somehow, you always take care to redeem yourself.

We’re loving the personality, Koala. Keep it up.

How did you do it?

Funny how, so often, for so many, aliyah means getting on a plane with three bags instead of two.

That’s how I did it. I had school plans in the near-distant future, a few phone numbers. Knowing I could go back and visit New York at the right price.

No pressure-aliyah. With a five year guarantee (and counting…)

It seems like that is how my brother is doing it – tomorrow, in fact. Which means I reach a new stage – the ‘family in Israel,’ the ‘other one,’ the ‘first one.’

Trying to give my brother packing tips. You get it down after a few times back and forth.

They even have Reese’s here, if you look hard enough.

How did you do it? Make aliyah?

If only religion was kid art…

I wonder what today is like for a girl named Shayna Tova.

The shana tova greetings keep coming in, and somehow I manage to forget the whole sentimental aspect of this holiday till the day of. Here’s hoping for a great year, where we get the things we need and lose the things that weigh us down…

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for little kid art:

See you on the other side.