It’s Summer Vacation, Do I Know Where my Children Are?

It’s Summer Vacation, Do I Know Where my Children Are?

OK, this is going to be confusing, so I hope you are in a quiet place where you can fully focus.
Here’s where all my children are at this moment:
1. 21-year-old Hadas is in India at a 10-day meditation retreat where she is not allowed to speak or use her phone. (How’s she enjoying that? Your guess is as good as mine…Reminder: she can’t speak or use her phone. Reminder: Please make sure you are in a quiet place where you can fully focus.)
2. 19-year-old Hallel is living on a kibbutz way up north, a stone’s throw from Lebanon, completing her national service.
3. 17-year-old Maayan is also way up north, in the Golan, doing volunteer work with a few friends.
4. 14-year-old Moriah is at her youth group’s annual camping trip. She left this morning with a gigantic backpack, and the bad-eema truth is that I have no idea where the camping trip is to. I guess somewhere between Eilat and Hallel. (Reminder: Hallel is a stone’s throw from Lebanon. Reminder: Please make sure you are in a quiet place where you can fully focus.)
5. 12-year-old Yoel is making a “summer camp” for his 6-year-old brother Yaakov. Today they went to a really big playground somewhere (at least for a 12 and 6-year-old) really far away.
6. 9-year-old Tsofia is making a “summer camp” with 2 of her 9-year-old friends for 3 little girls. In other words, 3 little girls are making a “summer camp” for 3 littler girls. In my house. (The noise might bother me if I wasn’t sandwiched between 2 neighbors in the middle of major renovations).
7. 6-year-old Yaakov is…pop quiz! Do you remember where 6-year-old Yaakov is? (Reminder: Please make sure you are in a quiet place where you can fully focus).
8. 4-year-old Yoni is at a summer camp. Did you notice (reminder: please fully focus) that this is the only summer camp written without quotation marks? Cause Yoni is my only child attending an honest-to-goodness summer camp. That I spent a lot of money on, so I could spend part of my summer days without a 4-year-old underfoot. And that (oy!) is ending today. So starting tomorrow, Yoni will be attending his brother’s or sister’s “summer camp.”

I’m telling you all this because I have a neighbor who is about to give birth. And the other day she cried to me, “I am so hot! And so heavy! And so bored! I can’t go anywhere or do anything!”
And I told her, “Hey, listen! Even when you don’t do anything, you are doing something hugely important! You are making a human being!”
But after I spoke with her, it occurred to me that the same is true of all us mothers.
Even if we do nothing at all, we are doing something hugely important. All year long, but especially during summer vacation. When all of our children are out of their routines, and doing this and that, going here and there. Like the planets spinning round and round the galaxy.
And in the middle of all that summer vacation hullabaloo, Eema is the Sun. Spinning a little. But mostly staying still, being here. Providing children far and near: with warmth. And light. And home.

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  1. I love what you wrote and I admire how cleverly and entertainingly you wrote it!

  2. YOur kids sound like they are having so much fun! Loved this post, reminded me of my childhood.

  3. Boruch Hashem that you are raising holy children in the Holy Land! They are not spending the summer playing computer games all day long, or lost in a social media’s virtual reality, or complaining that they are bored and you HAVE TO take them to…. or buy them….
    Instead they are:protecting Am Yisrael, working on improving their well-being (physical, mental, emotional,and spiritual), doing chesssed, etc.
    And you, the Jewish Mom is making sure to be available without being overbearing!
    Kol Hakovod.

  4. denisse michalowitz

    Beautiful and fun article! Thank you and all end the summe recharged!

  5. Beth Berman

    Your closing sentences really got to me. Our children are off, spinning their own orbits, not just in the summer but all year round. B’H my older ones are married, with little ones of their own, and my youngest is already 18. But even now, one of the most important things I can contribute is just “being there” — solid, steadfast, loving. You hit the nail on the head!

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