My son enlisted 2 days ago. And in a sense, so did I.
I have lived in Israel for most of my life. I am 48 years old. Yet from 1st grade until College graduation I lived in the American Midwest. I had an American upbringing . When I returned to Israel at the age of 23, my compulsory IDF service was released and I never served in the army.
The army is a big part our country with family and friend in some sort of relationship with the army. Its part of the culture, with lifetime memories and friends, or even a spouse. I never understood this experience and its relationship with the nation. I always felt I am missing out on something*.
I feel that my son’s enlistment into the army’s axillary combat unit, is also my enlistment into the military world and I have to say that I am very curious!
Knowing that my son will not talk to much I am searching other ways to learn about the boot camp experience. Internet and a current tv documentary series and giving me a sneak peek.
At the moment I am receiving one word text messages after I told him that I will not accept a thumbs up as a reply. He entered the army unhappy about having to enlist and have to serve combat service. Doesn’t have much of a choice. I know these first days must be tough for him. I know they have been tough on me. More than I expected.
I don’t fear for his life. I have lost a daughter to cancer. I know fear. I believe that he will come out this adventure alive and hopefully a happier person. Nevertheless I am a bit anxious this week wondering how he is there in the hot desert. Knowing he is facing many of his most sensitive issues. It is not easy to be turned from a boy to a man in 4 months. Or turn a mother to a soldier’s mom.
This week my son and I enlisted into the Israeli Army. On a new adventure.
* Similar to missing my high school prom. I didn’t think I would regret it at the time when I decided to fly to NYC instead. But I do.