Friday, July 21, 2006

Babies and War

My (other) sister just returned from a week in Jerusalem. Her husband packed them up on Sunday and they left. They have three kids, the youngest, 15-months-old won't sit still as do most toddlers his age.

Homefront Command guidelines are to stay within "safe areas", whatever that means, so we tried to keep him confined to the living room space. But he was too excited not having been at his grandparents for a week and ran all over the place.

Sure enough, there was a siren - the fifth one of the day. We quickly left the apartment and went downstairs. There wasn't enough room for all us under the stairs and my brother-in-law insisted on standing near by.

Needless to explain the reaction of my nephew. The siren sound is very loud and scary, but he didn't cry. He was just agitated and wasn't sure what he wanted until he settled on being on his mother. I'm sure he picked up on our anxiety as much as we tried to cover it.

While maybe not the scariest experience, it was the most unsettling one. I mean, I keep talking to my best friend in Haifa who has a 4-month old baby girl, and she keeps telling me how they snatch her from wherever and run to their "safe space" each time, but I haven't experienced it. The sense of responsibility and seeing my nephew so visibly distraught was beyond me. When they finally left to go home (five minutes away), I came as close as I ever did to crying since I got here.

I don't know what else to say, how I can explain this any better. Israeli babies, Lebanese babies. Babies and war.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

A member on another site mentioned your blogs and as a young lady that's absolutely opposed to war, I had to come check them out for myself. I love the ending of this blog and how you have compassion for those babies on the other side of the spectrum as well. It's the government leaders that decide whether or not we go to war and yet, unfortunately, it's the common people like us who suffer. I feel for you and your family. Please take care and stay strong--be the pillar that holds your family's hopes up. You will survive and come out of this stronger than ever. Believe it. Know it. Choose hope. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo--my prayers are with you and your family.

Kirsten said...

Your post has gotten to me more than anything I've read yet. I myself have a 14 month old and have had the fear of having our house taken away and us getting killed by a tornado, and that is the worst feeling I've had that would even approach the horror you're experiencing. At least with a tornado there are visible signs, sirens and local news channels and radios to keep me posted as to what is going on, what to expect, and when it will pass. I really feel miserable thinking of all the suffering going on, and the frustration and fear everyone is going through. I think it is very noble and admirable of you to go home to your family to help out in a time like this. All this fighting makes me sick to my stomach. You will be in my thoughts, please keep your head up and continue to be strong for your family. They must be very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it.
What exactly are you trying to prove by returning to that terrorist state ?

Are you in into masochism? If so, you should cross the borders and fear the israeli tanks not just some sirens.

*rolls eyes* at human imb├ęciles

Melly said...

First anon and Kirsten, it's comments like yours that help me stay strong. Thanks.

As for negative/overly political comments - I'm trying to keep this blogging experience personal and stay away from politics. I'd appreciate if your comments remain on the same level.
However, since I'm going to bed now (it's 2 a.m. here) and don't want to wake up to a big unpleasant political thread following 2nd anon's comment, I'll put comments on moderation, but return it to "live comments" first thing in the morning and post any comments I might have received during the night.

Eric Schlissel said...

I won't make this political, but I'll state that I'm both Jewish and I generally believe in Israel's right to defend themselves, though I think sometimes the defense is a bit too strongly enacted...

But my main question is why you've chosen to go there. I understand, your family is there, but as a parent myself, the last thing I would want my child to do would be put herself in harm's way. You were in Candada? For the love of God, stay in Canada! If your family is staying in Israel because it's their home, I completely understand that. But it doesn't seem there's much you can do to "help"...

Look, I don't know you; I found your blog through boingboing and you seem like a very intelligent individual. I'm also not trying to pick a fight; I really do want to understand what makes someone enter a war zone. I have three relatives in Israel (all cousins, no immediate, so of course there's a difference), but I couldn't see myself ever going there to... do what?

I wish you and your family all the safety in the world, and the hope that this current situation will end soon, and without further bloodshed.

jason said...

i recently got an email from a lebanese citizen friend of mine living in beirut, it took me back, the reality of knowing someone so close to the destruction, amidst it. i have posted it here on a map, the map is open for other posts about this conflict, regardless of position or point, a simple context to share experiences.

http://platial.com/jason/map/8362#Israel_vs._Lebanon

stay safe over there.

rdl said...

{{{{Melly}}}}} hugs, you are so brave. I wish i had an airplane and could come get you all.

moonbright said...

I find you so very courageous and with such a heart for returning with your family and helping them with your presence and support.
Wars are results of power & money where no one ever wins. Life and peace in this world is all about respect, acceptance and diplomacy where eveyone wins.
My greatest wish is for all of us earthlings to come together, unite our energy and pray to heal the pain, pray for those who need help in finding peace in their hearts and minds and pray for all who are helplessly subjected to wars.
I pray that you will never have to wake to the sound of another siren for the rest of your life. Blessings...

Edie said...

I think about you often and as i've requested to hear at least a line from you so i know you are still safe--i return the favour so you know thoughts and positive energy continue...

judih said...

hey there, Melly.

You're not the only one who's left the U.S. to be with family here. A friend did that very thing, but she's further south than you.

Keep the faith. Thanks for blogging - i'm in the Negev and booms here are regular things, but remain booms in open fields, not katyushas on our homes.

You've got guts. It's an experience, alright, but if you need a quieter place to hang out, consider the Negev.

Melly said...

Eric, thanks and as for your question, I may try to tackle it in a post. You're not the first who asked and I'm having troubles explaining that one.
You've never been to Israel, have you?

Jason, very interesting letter. I also read Chomsky's remarks - very intersting.

rdl, thanks :) hugs back.

Moonbright - Amen to that!

Edie, thanks. Trust me. It is most appreciated.

Judih, thank you so much. As for the qasams, I've just heard they might stop tonight. Let's hope the government will build on this.