I’m used to being alone in my sleeplessness–meandering to the kitchen to have a drink, drifting to the bathroom, tossing and turning and counting the hours until I have to get up–but recently I’ve had company.
The kids and I have been sick now for two weeks. Nothing terrible, just colds (+ bronchitis for me), with sneezing and coughing and general low-level ick. (We’ve all had the seasonal flu shot. Will it do anything?) But once every few days AM has been crying in the night, complaining of stomach pain, vomiting phlegm (nice, right?), and has had a resulting night and day of wacky sleep, loss of appetite, and horrific crankiness. The night time rabble-rousing is killing the grownups; last night my night of sleep was effectively over at 2:30a, though I had been asleep by 9:30p. Taxman can function ok on six solid hours, but he does much better with more and without my intrusive staccato pleas: “Go! Get him! Take him to the bathroom!” (Vomit and I are not on speaking terms. Unless we have to be.)
I’ve also been drifting metaphorically. I had my tiny little pocket of people in New York–the people I saw face to face–and I’ve yet to get anchored here. It goes without saying that life in New York has gone on without me, as it should, but email and Skype don’t quite manage to keep everything together. Though we were immediately in good stead in Israel because Taxman came with a signed contract for a job, it is the intangibles that are eating at me, the relationships that we had cultivated (with friends, with teachers and school administrators, with doctors) that have been cut down to virtually nothing. We’ve found people in our city to be helpful, but there are tiny rules about everything that we’ve been finding out as we go along that make me feel small and stupid and out of control.
I don’t know where I want to buy a house. I don’t know where the best place is for the kids to go to school. I don’t know how much is too much to pay for their shoes. I don’t know where I can buy English books.* I don’t know when I’m going to be able to wear a sweater. I don’t know how we are going to muster the energy to unpack the last six boxes because every day feels long and draining. I don’t know if any of the nice people at synagogue are ever going to issue an invitation or if I (the introvert!) am going to follow the lead of my extroverted five-year-old and invite them to us. Which I guess I could do, though it feels so wrong to me; I spent a lot of time on the other side of the coin.
I know a lot of this is due to just moving in general and not to Israel specifically. Nine years was a long time to stay in one community. I’ve lost my moorings and better attach to something. Soon.
* Well, there are at least two places in Jerusalem. Not terribly convenient to drop by for 10 minutes to see if the new Audrey Niggeneffer has made it over yet.