It’s the night before and our preparations have concluded. The days leading up to today have been filled with heart to heart talks, reminiscences, and general preparations. We’ve planned, purchased and packed. Tonight I am left to think back to the days when Eitan was just a small boy peeking out of his crib with that devilish look in his eyes beseeching me with his irresistible expression and pleading as if to say…’c’mon Imma, I really want to play! No more nap.’ You’d think he had napped for hours when it was only a paltry forty-five minutes!
I’m thinking back to the cute mischievous and playful little boy with those sad puppy eyes, running back and forth under my kitchen counter. He was so cute, the way he ran back and forth, never hitting his head, always giggling, evading us as we tried to catch him! What an energetic character he was. He was my sweet, funny, little Eitan.
That Eitan, that cute, funny little boy is now all grown up. He is still cute (adorable to me), still has those sad puppy eyes, but he is all grown up; All 5 ft 10 in of him. And now he’s off to the army. My baby is going to the army. I hold the image of him in my mind’s eye, as a funny little kid doing his very best to climb out of his crib, juxtaposed with the image I’ll have of him tomorrow standing with his friends saying goodbye to him; and of the next time I’ll see him, all decked out in uniform. It’s a strange thing this army life. Boys become men, mothers become mothers anew. I am again the mother of an Israeli soldier.