Parenting in Israel sometimes.

I made it till 1:34pm today without hearing, reading, or talking about Syria, gas masks, or missiles.

The biggest news, since the US didn’t strike when everyone assumed (yesterday), is the fact that Israelis are waiting hours, sometimes whole days, in line at gas mask handout points. Only 60% of Israelis are equipped with up-to-date gas masks but Pikud HaOref hasn’t called everyone up to collect, no one has declared an emergency, and the government is showing calm.

Then again, no one wants to leave this up to fate. Or governments.

Parenting here feels exactly like this sometimes:

The quote by a father waiting in line yesterday, goes something like this…

“I have two kids and I can’t just trust this insane Syrian won’t do anything. If it means drying out here in the heat, then that’s what I have to do to protect my children – that’s what it will be.”

American snapshots: new, old, cliches of cliches

Ok, that said, I cherish the quick snapshots I get hanging old school. Or new school, since we visited Florida this time.

Flying with kids… enjoying their curiosity…

The fruit lets you know…

The natives are still new to me…

The cliches who become even bigger cliches…

New places…

Old bedroom, old school…

And, really now, is there a term yet for when a first world country has surpassed its own first worldness?

 

lizrael update: the expat-makes-a-visit edition

Living in Israel (and probably many other countries as an American expat) is an exercise in being happy with what you have, and I feel lucky to have even scratched the surface of that sentiment.

Occasionally the conversation comes up with fellow expats here and I’m no longer surprised to admit that I’m happier here than I imagine I would be in the States.

Last week I returned with the kids from a trip to the US where we mainly visited with family, which is actually the sole serious issue I have with living far away from the place I grew up. The family aspect was lovely. It’s soaking in as much familiarity and nostalgia and new memories as I can in as little time as two weeks out of the year.

Each time I go back for a visit, I feel a certainty that I made the right choice, which I think is so incredibly valuable when you’ve made a life-altering decision. This time, it barely even crossed my mind to contemplate it; it was a given.

Some of the time, I view America the way lots of people who don’t live there view it. The politics creep me out. The culture shocks me. The values confuse me.

And when I’m in New York, I’m overwhelmed. The supermarkets are heavy. The malls are filled with stuff for sale that makes me sad. The maternity and daycare situation is dismal. The nightly news is frightening. I’m looking over my shoulder. I’m filled with mistrust.

I think maybe I was always overwhelmed until I left. Surely not every born New Yorker has a New York soul. Not every American feels at home. A lot of the reasons people cite for what’s great about living in the States don’t compel me.

I’m happy to be lucky to be happy with what I have.