The Ties that Bind

Today, when I went to pick Eliav up from his friend’s house, I was struck by this little group of boys. Up until now, Eliav hasn’t really had many play dates or been that social. He’s only four, after all, and his mommy is terrible about arranging play dates and social outings. I tend to set the kids up with friends when they beg for it, rather than proactively creating social interactions.

Anyway, here were four little guys running around like maniacs and having a ball together. And it struck me that these kids are going to grow up together, serve in the army together, fall in love at similar times and dance each other down the aisle to the Chupah.

Obviously, I had friends while I was growing up. I even had many good friends. I did not, however, live in a 400 family yishuv where the children are growing up in each other’s backyard and where the parents have all chosen to live together for religious, ideological, and geographic reasons.

While Eliav is only four, and he will fall in and out of favor with various kids (sometimes multiple times a day), I see the strength of the bonds that these children are developing. I get goosebumps when I see the relationships that my older boys are developing with their friends.

As I see them playing ping-pong in the yard or soccer at the field, I only have to squint a tiny bit to see them graduating high school together, saluting in uniform, and attending britot for each other’s children.

May my boys and their many friends know only good times together and may they grow in strength and friendship through the years.

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