Last night after I returned home from ten days away, I lay down next to my daughter to chit chat before she fell asleep.
“While you were away, mommy,” she said. “I prayed to God for something I know I’ll never get.”
“What?” I asked her, even though I was pretty sure I knew the answer.
She sighed, “A real baby.”
“You’re right honey,” I replied. “I’m not having any more babies, but maybe God will listen anyway, and hang on to your request ’til you’re a mommy.”
With that, she sighed again, and held Nadav, her American Girl baby-boy doll a little tighter than before.
* * *
This morning on Twitter a journalist posted there would be an air raid siren in the southern Israeli towns of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
“This is part of a tsunami drill,” he wrote. “Don’t panic.”
As if the poor people of Ashdod and Ashkelon haven’t been traumatized enough over the last few years of rocket warnings. Shouldn’t they devise a unique alert sound for a tsunami? And, anyway, what are the residents of Ashkelon and Ashdod advised to do in the case of a true tsunami?
Certainly taking cover will not save them from the rushing waters of a churning Mediterranean sea.
* * *
I never realized it before, but jet lag is a necessary and appropriate method for transitioning from one culture, one point of view, to another.
* * *
If I were to have another baby — which I will not — I wouldn’t have named it Nadav if it was a boy, or Shaked if it was a girl, even though both are my favorite names for new babies in Israel.
It occurs to me this morning after I read the message about the tsunami drill, however, that tsunami would actually be a lovely name for a girl. The word rolls off the tongue like the wave it describes, but more gently. Like a ripple in time.
Tsu – Nah – Me.
* * *
When I land in New Jersey, I like that I have traveled backwards.
When I land in Israel, I like that I have lost a whole day.
I like to be pummeled by time like that.
I like that I am able to anticipate the absolute engulfment caused by change in time, even if I can’t control it.