Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Growing Pains

This is my Ya'akov, my firstborn son. He has grown so quickly. This past Sunday, his father and I took him to JFK airport so that he could catch his El Al flight to Eretz Israel. My son will be studying for the year in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) in yeshiva. This is an incredible opportunity and experience for him and we are all so proud of him. I know that he will grown immensely during this school year and that this is the best thing for him. Even how this whole thing came about, it was obvious that the hand of G-d was in all of this. (As it is in all things) So, Baruch HaShem, B'ezrat HaShem (with G-d's help), Ya'akov will learn much Torah, visit many holy places and have lots fun while he is there. He will be going to the Kotel (Western Wall) every Sunday, im yirtzeh HaShem (G-d Willing.) I really look forward to the man who will come home to me in ten months.
Now although I know all of this, I am still a mama. Today I feel a little better than yesterday and, B'ezrat HaShem, each day will get easier. I try not to think of shabbat as I am not sure how I will get through, and I am definitely not thinking of the Yomim Tovim (holidays). I know Ya'akov will have the absolute best time there though! I miss him so much. I really tried so hard to hold it together and I think I did it for the most part, Baruch HaShem. I did have some moments but I kept them private as I did not want my son seeing his Imma (mother) with a broken heart all over the house. At shul (synagogue) this past shabbat was a little difficult especially when he was called up for an aliyah (torah honor).
Motzei Shabbat (after shabbat) he and I went to Target and picked up a few last minute items. I being a typical Jewish mother, drove him koo koo by insisting on this, that and the other. Aloe Vera gel, witch hazel, Band-Aids, mouthwash etc.,
"Mama do I really need TWO bottles of aloe vera gel?!"
"Of course you do, they are small, see?"
After we returned home I packed his suitcases. It was very therapeutic and I am a pretty good packer. Besides he did not pack near enough clothing, so I snuck in more. (When I spoke to him yesterday I asked about the clothing and he said you packed so much extra! I laughed and told him he will be grateful later.) We had to weigh and measure them as El Al only allows 70 pounds per bag. Now this is for the entire school year and he had to bring blankets, winter coat, boots etc. Let me tell you it ain't easy, but we did it Baruch HaShem! I am sure nobody slept that night but what can you do. When I kissed him goodnight all I could think was that was the last time for ten months I would do that. G-d I miss him so much.
We arrived at the airport in ample time to check in so thank G-d all went well. All we saw there were tons of yeshiva bochurim (yeshiva boys) and it was so neat! I was so excited for my Ya'akov! We hung out at the airport for about three hours but believe me when I tell you the time flew. We went to the airport synagogue to daven (pray) mincha (afternoon prayers) and then rushed to the gate. I cannot express how difficult this part was. He asked if he should get on the plane now and I said no, just five more minutes. I held him and kissed him. I blessed him and prayed for him. Finally I knew I had to let go. I walked him to the gate and waved good-bye...and I cried.
I came home and tried to pull myself together for the sake of my girls. My Racheli is taking it the hardest. They are very close, best friends. It has not hit Tzivya yet, but when it does I think it will be hard. I wandered about the house aimlessly when I came home. I could not find my legs. A dear friend stopped by and let me literally cry on her shoulder and she cried with me. Finally I sat with my girls and tried to relax. We talked and went to bed.
Yesterday was better and I know B'ezrat HaShem, today will be too. He is the first to leave the nest and we are such a close family we all feel it intensely. But we know it was time and we trust HaShem to care for him, obviously far better than I imagined myself ever doing. He is studying in a yeshiva in the holiest place on the planet, I mean what more could I want. This is what we always wanted and dreamed of and Baruch HaShem, it happened! It is just hard and thankfully my friends tell me I am normal. They said they would worry if I reacted otherwise. Those who REALLY know me have told me I am doing fantastic, so I will take those words and be grateful.
Ya'akov has called twice, thank G-d, and he arrived safely and is doing well! This should be only good and bring nachas to us all, B'ezrat HaShem!! May his study help to hasten the coming geulah!!

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