Fifty-Two Frames: Line From A Song.

All week, it’s been the ‘I’ word.

Which brings up the ‘w’ word, which brings up the ‘b’ word and so on and so on…

When I did this photo shoot, I was nearly in tears the first take. My son was around, watching me take the boxes out of the closet and arranging them on the floor so I could get a shot of Bebe playing around them.

“What’s dis?”

“A box.”

“What’s inside?”

I didn’t really know  how to answer… I have an honesty-within-age-context policy. But dealing with the topic of war eludes me.

“Something for when things are dangerous, that only Ima and Abba can open. Do not open the boxes, ok? Only we can open them.”

He kept asking and I went frozen for a while. What would he think if we ever had to use it? How would I even get him to look at me without freaking out?

How do you make war on a nearly 3-year-old?

Week 6: Line From A Song

Balkan Beat Box: War Again. The photo’s line is: “Who’s gonna gain outta this war again?”

In case the photo is lost on someone, some background: for the last year or so, Israel has stepped up the giving out of gas masks. War is brewing, whether it’s directly with Iran or with Iran’s favored trust fund babies, Hezbollah and Hamas among others. The country is gearing up and the government has been more vocal about that fact lately.

The boxes in the photo are gas masks. Our area was given them shortly after Bebe was born this year. The big ones with orange lettering are children’s gas masks and the black ones are adults’.  

I often look around wondering what everyone else is thinking. Haven’t figured it out yet though. 


3 responses to “Fifty-Two Frames: Line From A Song.”

  1. Yaffa Avatar

    I finally got mine replaced, my third in 21 years. Shawn and the girls already got their new (first, and hopefully last) ones. The first thing I did was open the box (yeah, I know, bad me) and show it to the girls. I told them one day Ima and Abba might have to put on this funny mask, and didn’t it look so silly with the long nose and big eyes? I wanted them to know not to be afraid, and to accept what those of us who live here by choice have had to do long ago. War is a way of life here. Terror is unavoidable. I can’t spare them from it. No, I didn’t explain what ‘war’ meant, and I’m not sure how I would though I assume the conversation would refer to the ‘not nice men’ we talked about not that long ago (Haman and Amalek). But at least they won’t get scared if they have to see Ima and Abba put on our silly masks, or get to wear their own special funny masks.

    (For what it’s worth, I didn’t remove the mask out of the plastic bag it is sealed in, I just showed them the mask through the plastic. They were pretty cool about it)

    1. elie Avatar

      Thanks for sharing, Yaffa – seriously. I haven’t heard from many parents who are so candid… I start to wonder if I’m paranoid…

      1. Yaffa Avatar

        You’re not paranoid. It’s just hard for us olim to understand what kids growing up here take for granted. We made aliyah shortly after the Gulf War and I was shocked at my classmates’ nonchalant manners as they sowed me their decorated gas mask boxes that they’d bring to school each day (on days there was school), the bomb shelter their whole family would cram in to, or the bucket they’d all pee etc. in. But really it’s the same attitude I still have when riding the bus the day after a bus bombing. If you let yourself be paralyzed with fear, you’ve let them win. Unfortunately one thing none of us probably really thought about when moving here was how our kids are going to have to grow up taking that feeling for granted. Gas masks are just a way of life for them. They will spend their whole lives knowing there’s one waiting just for them up on the shelf. None of us can relate.

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