I spent most of the past summer in Israel. And, since I periodically complain about the monotony and boredom that is my life, Fate decided to show me once again the meaning of that old Chinese proverb and thrust me in the middle of the "interesting time". Allow me to elaborate.
You see, my arrival into the Holy Land coincided with the kidnapping of Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad (may The Heavenly Father avenge their blood), so I was in the think of it all - including the "conflict". Let me tell you: it is one thing to know about the South of Israel being under constant rocket attacks - and quite another to actually feel a portion of it yourself; this was definitely a case of nothing beating personal experience.
But my short story is not about the war and the rocket fire; it is about my wonderful niece, Mini Beloved Sibling, who at that time was eight and a half.
As a mentioned many times before, she and her siblings are normal kids: which means they fight - a lot. But when push comes to shove and something bad is threatening them, they come together - and MBS shows time and again that she is a worthy member of the club. Three episodes from that summer stuck in my mind.
The first one happened one night when we decided to put them all to sleep in the mamad (the fortified room in the apartment that serves as a bomb shelter). So, Curly had to share the bed with Fluffy (her younger sister). Ordinarily, there would have been no end of complains: she is kicking me; I am uncomfortable; why do I have to share a bed with her; she is taking too much space; ect., etc., etc. But that night our big girl came through - she just found a comfortable position and went to sleep without a peep.
The second one also happened at night - but at that time they were not sleeping in the mamad when the siren went off. So, MBS jumped out of her mother's bed (where she was allowed to be to protect the peace, so to speak), and immediately went into action. "Mommy, the Baby!" - she wanted to make sure that her newborn sister was safe. Then she darted into her room and saw that her brother was peacefully sleeping on the top of the bank bed. "SiM! SiM is sleeping on top! We need to wake him!" It took a little while for my sister to actually calm her down and send her to mamad with a promise that her brother would be taken care of - the same brother with whom she fights daily; scratch that - hourly!
And the third episode occurred when I took the Munchkins to the concert at the local equivalent of a community center. Here we were, enjoying a funny guy who could play music on practically anything - buckets, bottles, strings, bottle covers...and then the siren went off. Curly jumped out of her chair, run to the front of the audience where her one year old sister was sitting on the floor, grabbed her, foisted her on her hip for a better grip, and then turned to me: "Papi, where do we run?!"
As I sit here typing this, I still get chocked up. May the Heavenly Father guard you and your loving heart, our beautiful little girl!