Where we live

My hope is that you read this one day in Israel; that you will merge this with what you have learned in the history books about the wars we used to have here; because when you read this now there are no more wars in Israel. Are there still wars? Did my dream for you come true?

Yoni, you’re only one year old now and you’ve already gone through your first mini-war. You won’t remember this but last November we had to take you out of your bed a few times and run into the staircase with you because rockets were being fired at us. We were scared. You were quite brave, you kept on dozing. 

Now there are signs that we’ll have war again; so many signs. There doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid it. Nobody wants it but still it will happen. Can you understand the logic of that! As if wars are something that the Gods compel us earthlings to do – and we are powerless to stop ourselves from being puppets in their schemes, and so we fly into each other, kicking and screaming. People in ancient times and ancient lands like Greece and Rome believed that, that Gods were behind everything. I never believed it before, but I’m starting to wonder now…

This time, if and when war happens, we will have to run into the staircase with you again. I’m counting on you to be brave.

I wonder, often, if I’m doing wrong by you by bringing you up here, in our only country. I see what our enemies do to each other and I know what they would like to do to us if they could – then I look into your deep blue eyes and your innocent soft skin, your delicate head with its flowing golden hair – and I wonder if I should take you out of here.

But where would we go? Where’s safe? Who doesn’t have savages in their countries these days?

It’s true that there are savages everywhere, but we have the most, here.

What animals we are

What animals we are in this house.

I pick you up by the back of your neck with my teeth, like a cat does to its young, while Your Mother circles us, prowling the house like the lioness that she is.

I bury my nose into your ear, pushing it deeper and deeper like a woodpecker sticking its beak into a tree to catch a worm.

You used to crawl around the house like a tortoise, slow and frightful. Then you became a salamander, zipping around the house like a lizard. Now you’re starting to walk and fall like a baby deer, and we watch you like two eagles perched on a mountain top.

Sometimes I’m an elephant whose feet you stand on and walk, or a Panda’s belly you sit on and rest.

When we want to get each others’ attention we make hyena noises at each other.

And when you’re exhausted and dying to sleep, you circle around your cot, round and round and round, like a dog does before it settles down to snooze.

Now you climb up and down everything, like a little monkey, and you open every cupboard, every drawer and every door, like a little monkey, and I pick at your head, sifting through your hair looking for star-dust, like a big stupid monkey.Image

Your First Birthday

One day,  I am certain, you will think about what you were like as a little child. It may be because you’re just curious [you are] or because you feel like you don’t know yourself very well [everyone does at some time].

You may wonder if you are very different now from what you were once, way back in your history, back in that place where your memory can’t go. How far can you remember?

I’m sure that one day you will ask yourself: have I always been this way?

Whatever your reasons, know that it is good to look at one’s life, from time to time, as if you were outside of time, as if time were a line you could see from afar.

For example: today is your first birthday. You are just learning to speed up, and I am just learning to slow down. Did you see how I looked at both of our lives from outside of the present moment?

It’s interesting. Give it a try.

You are learning to become very active, and I am learning to wind down. You are learning to look at everything with new eyes, and touch everything with new hands.

Sometimes I imagine what’s going on inside your thoughts as you meet the world.

If you want to know how you were as a toddler, the most important thing for you to know is that you were [are] loved. You are loved by everyone around you.

I have to hold myself back from picking you up by the back of your neck with my teeth, like cats do to their young.

I’ve saved your life a few times, you know, getting home just as Your Mother was about to eat you up. She really does want to eat every little part of you. And I’m not sure she will always be able to contain herself…

Your grandparents also squeeze you any chance they get, and you’ve given them extra space in their hearts.

You can be a very serious little boy; not easily amused and not to be trifled with. You demand attention with a booming voice. BAAAAHH!! BAAAHH!

I find this quite effective and I’ve started using it to communicate with people at my office. BAAHHH! BAAAAHHH!

You love to be thrilled; whereupon you shriek. And you talk yourself to sleep, or maybe you’re talking to angels?

But mostly you’re a very curious little chap – an explorer, fearless on the slides yet cautious on the steps. You love new people but don’t like to be crowded.

You go with the flow, as long as I or Your Mother are around, somewhere in the background. You are open to other people, and they are drawn to you.

More so than most other children you come into contact with, you are gentle, and kind. You give me the glass to drink from, and sometimes you shove your food into my mouth.

For days I’ve searched for the right words to say here to you. But someone’s already said them before, and there’s no shame in using someone else’s words when they are so perfect for how you feel.

So here is my message to you on your first birthday my son, from  a song I love called “Stand Inside Your Love”

Travel the world, traverse the skies; your home is here within my heart

I feel as though I am reborn; recast as child in mystic sun

I’ll wrap my wire around your heart and you’re mine

You’re mine forever.

Travel the world