Parents all around the country are celebrating the beginning of the new school year. I get it. I remember those years of looking at the vast, empty expanse of the August calendar and wondering how in the world I was going to entertain the kids while continuing to work and remaining in the black in the bank.
August is not an easy time in Israel.
I applaud all of us, all of the parents, who have survived the summer with our sanity in place (mostly) and our children healthy.
But today, my heart hurts. I’m at the stage where every minute that I get to spend with my family, every minute that I have with all six boys together, is priceless. Absolutely priceless. I’ve spent enough years watching them grow to know that the years tick by like minutes. The army will soon be in charge of one of my boys, and then the rest will quickly follow. Then, of course, we hope they find spouses, jobs, apartments and all those other trappings of adult life.
Each day that I spent with them this summer felt like gold. I loved every minute of the chaotic summer; of the hustle and bustle of noise, of negotiations over who got the car, of backyard BBQs and countless sleepovers, of late night tea drinking at the migrash and WhatsApp messages within the family about who was locking the door and who was coming in last.
As of today, I have three children who spend most of their week outside of the house. They are learning at schools far from home and returning only on the weekend. That’s half my house. I know that they are where they need to be and they are growing and developing into the men I dream of them becoming.
But that doesn’t stop my tears, so many tears, for the years that were and the changes that will be; for sweet moments that only last so long and for boys growing into men and leaving the home, and me, behind.
This piece first appeared on Times of Israel.