It’s saturday morning , It’s quiet in Tel Aviv, the streets are empty. I am walking in “old “Tel aviv among refurbished buildings. It’s November and I am back in Israel to celebrate my mom’s birthday.
The last two weeks I took care of my two adorable grandkids while their mom went to visit her grandparents. It was an honor to be asked and I said “yes” without hesitation. The idea of spending two weeks with these little munchkins was tantalizing.
I put on hold any my regular schedule and started planning . We planned to spend the weekend in the country so a trip to the farm to enjoy pumpkin picking, hay ride and rolling in a heap of corn kernels was one of the activities.
Weekdays are school days; the boys follow a routine, wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed and out the door by 8:15. Our ride in the stroller is a spaceship, it’s grandpa’s game and it works. I have free time till 2:00 but after exercise , grocery shopping and catching up on emails, it was time to go back to school for pick up. “Safta, did u bring a snack?” Let’s go to the playground and here we go …. play time ,dinner, bath, reading and bed..
Two days into this routine I was struck by the realization that being a full-time mom is a full-time job. When my youngest left to college and there was no one to wait for late at night or prepare breakfast or lunch or dinner for, I kept asking so what’s next. I also wondered how quickly the years went and what happened to me? When I grew up I did not see myself being a stay-at-home-mom as my mom was but here I am… being a stay-at-home-mom. “Stay at home” grandma was just a reminder of how rewarding it is to be greeted with a hug and a big smile. To witness the joy of reading a new book, build a 3D puzzle or playing hide and seek.
Two weeks went so fast. The last night I was sad. Who is going to come wake me up in the morning, pillow and blankly in hand asking to sleep in my bed ..but ..there will be more sleepovers.
I had a day to pack , hop on a plane and here I am… on to care for my beloved mom. As she gets older and is not able to travel much I find myself on the New York-Tel Aviv route every few months as though to compensate for the years I was busy raising and caring for my own kids . Now my mom needs me by her side. To hold her soft hand, to take walks to the neighborhood coffee house to visit the museum or go to a concert . I listen to her stories from her youth growing up in Tel Aviv. I try to make her forget the pains of growing old. The pictures of her grandkids and great grandkids light up her face and makes her happy.
I am the bridge , I let my grandkids ride on my back and my mom to hold my hand.
So, when I sit on a plane flying East I think of this beautiful combination and how lucky I am to be able to enjoy these precious times… and be the jelly in this wonderful sandwich
May we all have many years to enjoy each other.