Something tells me that in order to appreciate this post, you first need to send a GIRL to Israel. Or at the very least, rewind your mind to the last time YOU went off on an international stint for two weeks. Do you envision suitcases piled around for ten days before, outfits for every weather going from closet to suitcase and back, jacket, shoes, purses and backpacks and caps? Make-up, perfume, and gifts for everyone you’ll meet? And that’s all without your all-important hand-luggage…
Well, back to the boys. It was Friday noon, and three of my teenage boys were scheduled to leave Sunday morning. Considering that Motzai Shabbos would be selichos and they had learning seder beforehand, that didn’t leave much time.
I made a mild call-out. “Aren’t you guys leaving to Israel Sunday morning? Don’t you have anything to prepare? Pack?”
My husband pointed at a few fabric suitcases he’d borrowed. (We make a point of never owning suitcases, a result of too many guests who come with one suitcase and go back home with two.) “I brought some suitcases.”
Nice. Not that my boys had been too concerned.
“Actually,” said one. “I was planning to buy a CD player. I’ll need music on the flight.”
Saying which, he launched a house-wide search for every electronic device we own that plays music, and all three boys gathered round to make their choices. Naturally that led to a lot of switching of batteries, anti-shock experimenting and heated discussions on the pros and cons of the one with the broken cover vs. the one missing the battery-compartment thingamajig that I’m sure I keep ‘not throwing out because one day I’ll figure out what it belongs to’. But clearly this was the most important aspect of the trip preparation, so all this was apparently very necessary.
And in fact, it was certainly the hardest part, because after that they each took a suitcase and filled it up with piles of their clothing, a set of linen and a towel, and they were ready to go. Um, except for one last round of post-selichos shnitzel-frying to prepare food for the flight. What the airline serves does not qualify even for raised eyebrows.
Sending boys to Israel? Just take care of the music and the shnitzel. The rest is easy.