Well, there is a cease-fire. Does this mean I can stop worrying about my friends in the reserves? About the yeshiva boys down the street who are serving now?
Does this mean I can walk the kids to school without changing the route so we are always near a building? Just in case there is a siren?
We had it easy here during the seven days of Pillar of Defense. Every night was quiet. Every day was sunny.
The kids asked to sleep in our safe room one night, the night of the first rocket sent towards Tel Aviv, when Taxman texted me from his building’s bomb shelter. I didn’t want to scare my children, but I wanted to tell them that if there were a siren in the middle of the night we would have to wake them up and take them downstairs to the safe room.
On Friday morning, after a quiet night, that seemed ridiculous.
Every morning dawned sunny, with a tiny touch of chill that burned off by 8 am. Typical November.
Yet somehow by each afternoon, after a half-day of seeing the bombardments of southern Israel continue, after listening to the army pop station constantly interrupt songs with the call for residents of towns and cities slightly to the south or slightly to the west or Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to enter their bomb shelters, I was tense again.
Every afternoon, I would trap the dog downstairs with us as the kids ate lunch, did homework, and played or did art projects. The better to hustle us all to the safe room for the siren that never came. (Given her druthers, she escapes upstairs in the afternoon, to avoid the inevitable loud noises and occasional chasing that happens when they are around.)
So now there is a cease-fire. Apparently this is affecting everything but my temper. I am normally not the most even-keeled. I am a yeller from way back.
But keeping calm in the face of questions about rockets and bombs and sirens has taken up my reserves. So the normal bickering has pushed me over the edge. Why can’t they see that? That now is perhaps not the best time to kick each other at the breakfast table?
I really want things to return to normal. But in the meantime, I’ll be here, dreading pickup time and when I’m going to snap next. (Really, though, when are they going to figure out when to leave each other–and me!–alone?)
PS It does not appear that Israel and Hamas agree on what “cease-fire” actually means. Let the good times roll!