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My oldest son is turning ten.

My miracle baby.

Mostly his father and I just shake our heads and well up with tears when we talk about it.  Other times we laugh and laugh and laugh at the guy’s delivery.  He kills.  Maybe my dream of being the Mother of the next incarnation of Smothers Brothers will come true after all…..

He also is phenomenally gigantic.  How was he ever a baby?  He literally skipped a size altogether in the last growth spurt.  We knew what we were making–being 6’4″ and 5’9 1/2 respectively–but this is just ridiculous.  His feet and hands are as big as mine!  What I do know is this:  his heart takes up more space in the Universe than his body ever will on Earth.  That boy loves fully, and generously.

When it was six weeks to ten on my own timeline, I had just arrived in Israel, on of all days, Yom Kippur.   We found our way from Tel Aviv to the Nof Hotel in Haifa, no small feat on the holiest of holy days.  We checked in and slept for 13 hours straight, and woke up at dusk, along with a city that had only appeared to be sleeping when it was truly transcendent in the hush of atonement.

How about that for a beginning? I was washed clean of my old self and began the year that would be the most formative of my life.  Literally, the happiest year of my whole childhood and the one in which I felt as though I completely fit.  My soul expanded into my self completely, although I didn’t know that then.  I continually felt a deep safety and contentment of place, the height of irony given the violence around and in my family.  Yet I was at home.  The feeling of belonging to Israel was so tremendous that at first I fought with everything I had to reject it.

Comparisons are unfair and self-centered with regard to the wonder boy, however.  His ten is not my ten.  But I am so grateful for this amazing child because in shepherding his ten, I get to journey back through the ache and the memories and return home that way.    I have pictures to share and stories to tell and an old friend to find, and he will watch, and listen.  The thought of him entering into a time that was for me, so profound, makes me watch him differently.

Next year in Jerusalem  Haifa?  Maybe.

The view from the Nof hotel, Haifa, 1976

Dalit (Lavi) and me, sheltered

In the beam of Light