Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pet Peeves

This post is a bit of venting from moi. Let me start by saying that once we made the decision to make aliyah, our friends have been extremely supportive. I know that some people are concerned, especially regarding L's health issues. And those are legitimate concerns, expressed by people who have my family's best interests at heart. Once we made the decision to go ahead with the move, however, my friends seemed to understand that this was it, and have been very supportive. I know its hard for my friends. I know they are worried about us "making it" in Israel and about L. and I know (I hope!) they will miss me (I'm in tears just thinking about leaving them). But most of them understand the magnet that is pulling us to Israel, because I know the magnet pulls them as well.

But I digress, as this post is titled Pet Peeves. These are comments and questions that are really irksome--especially when they come from strangers, or people I barely know. Here they are, in no particular order:

"What a terrible place to live. When I lived there it was awful. You had to shlep everywhere six times before you got your (fill in the blank--driver's license, passport, health insurance etc). And its so expensive to live there, everyone lives in 'meenus'--[overdraft]. You're going to hate it there."

I have heard this type of speech several times. It comes from people who have lived there and now are back in the USA. When I. and I hear these comments, we do get nervous. But then we tell ourselves--this person came back, for whatever reasons. For some reason people who have attempted aliyah and find themselves back in the states feel the need to tell us exactly how difficult our lives will be over there. I'm not really sure what they're point is, though. Do they think I will say, wow that's terrible, we should cancel our plans? I always have respected people who attempted aliyah, and had to come back for whatever reasons. I used to say, at least they tried, thats more than I did. Now I am going. I wouldn't say we are "trying it" per se, because we are looking at it as a permanent move. Yet G-d takes us down many roads, with many twists and turns. I don't know what He has in store for us. But I hope to always be encouraging to people who want to move to Israel, no matter where I am. There are so many great things about living in Israel...tell me about those things please....

"Teenager olim in Israel have a very difficult time. There is nothing for them to do in the summer, and many of them go off the derech and get into drugs and involved with bad crowds"

Sigh. I know the adjustment will be extremely difficulty for L., who will be 14 years old on Sukkot (be'ezrat Hashem). I am definitely going to make sure the summer is structured for the children--there are programs in Modiin that the kids go to that are affordable. I pray to Hashem everyday for the physical and spiritual health of my children. But please. Don't we hear all the time of teenagers right here in our community who are in trouble??? That's why there are so many organizations and special schools and fundraising dinners devoted to this problem. There are troubled teenagers EVERYWHERE, please don't imply that by taking my children to what I believe is a better place for them, I am leading them down a path of drinking, drugs and all-night orges...

"My friend made aliyah with five children and they all came back"

This one came from a complete stranger and made me angry. It is laughable, if it wasn't so stupid. Guess what?! Our children don't necessarily stay in the same place we are. If we are raising our children a certain way, many of them will LEAVE US, to make aliyah. Of course, I want my children to stay in Israel--I believe its where we belong. But if in their adulthood they decide to come back to the states (or to move to London, Australia or Zimbabwe), I will be heartbroken, but support them in what they want to do. Children leave home. Sometimes for places spread out in the four corners of G-d's great earth. My parents left their parents. It wasn't easy for them or for my grandparents....but we all know things don't come easy...especially those things that are precious to us.

"Are you excited? You don't seem excited."

Okay, this is one I get from everyone, friends and strangers. It doesn't quite belong with "pet peeves", because it doesn't bother me as much, and is not downright negative. People ask this question of I. and me and of the children. Let me say this. I. and I are very excited about this move. We are also very nervous about the challenges that come when making a move such as this one. So nervous that, well let's just say my stomach is reacting like crazy. As far as the kids go, I'm not sure what everyone expects. I talk to them all the time. They never said to me, "Mommy, I am so excited". But they ask me lots of questions that lead me to believe that on some level they are looking forward to the move. They also tell me how much they are going to miss their friends, and express concern about making new ones. We don't sugarcoat it for them by telling them everything is going to be perfect because its Israel. They know it will be hard for them at first, academically and socially, and are worried about that. But they understand, I think, why we are doing this...and I truly pray that in the future they will be happy that we made this move. But if you ask them if they are excited, no, they will not jump up and down and shout their joy for maybe instead of that, an encouraging word on a positive note would be good for them to hear...


Anonymous said...

Great blog, B!!! We are so excited for you that you are making aliyah. It is so great and encouraging to see people move to Israel. I HOPE that I get there too. Before Ozzie gets and Israeli accent.

Baila said...

ozzy already has an israeli accent. and he says "why why why" all the time!