Purim in Israel is AMAZING!!!!! I really loved it. I loved taking the kids to Gan on Sunday and seeing all the other kids (and plenty adults too) walking to school, waiting for rides, in Gan - and all dressed up. Everybody is into it.
My mother-in-law made a good comparison. In America, when we see everyone dressed up in costume - like people working in stores, walking down the street, etc - for Halloween, we think oh, how silly. They look ridiculous.
Here, in Israel, when the same thing happens but it's for Purim - we are SO excited!!
I guess because this time it's our holiday. This time we get to participate. And we aren't the minority. The whole country is into it. It's so great.
In general, I think we have been settling in quite well. And there are many times when I just take a moment to look around and realize how lucky I am to be living here. Living my dream. It's somewhat different than what I expected but it's amazing. I still look out my window at the hills of the Shomron and think WOW, I'm living here. I am living in Israel.
Last week I went to Petach Tikvah 3 times. This is a big deal because without a car, it's really difficult leaving Ariel (with 3 kids). Twice I went there with a friend in her car and once I took public transportation. Petach Tikvah is considered "The Big City" near us. It's exciting to go there, to go to the mall, eat at the food court, or go to some of the bigger stores. I enjoy it - but would never want to live there. Too big of a city for me.
On the drive there and back, on one hand, I am already used to the surroundings and the scenery. This is my home.
On the other hand, sometimes I still switch to my "tourist eyes" and remember how I would look at my surroundings and how I felt. How desperately I wanted to be living here. I remember how I would look at the trees and the buildings and the sky and the mountains and be in love. And I fall in love all over again. I love living here. I am proud of myself that I made Aliyah. I am proud that I am raising 3 young kids in this land. I am proud that I am working. I feel like everything I do here means more. It counts more.
I thank G-d for all this being possible. I thank G-d for sending me a husband that made ALL of the above possible. Life is good.....
On the flip side, I miss my friends and family SO much, it hurts. I have especially been having a hard time since Kayla was born. I just can't believe that my American friends haven't met her, haven't held her. My own mother has not even met her!!! It's really really rough. Some people might think that because we made this choice to make Aliyah and because we are doing well here and are happy here, that it makes leaving that much easier.
I don't agree.
I think the 2 things are completely separate. On one hand, I am happy here. I like the way our new life is turning out.
On the other hand, I MISS MISS MISS MISS my friends. Quite a few of my friends are having babies and a few had girls, just a little younger than Kayla. And I'm not there. Not there to visit them in the hospital, not there to make them meals, not there to just be there.
Our "chevra" all got together for a Purim Seudah and posted some pics. I started looking through them and it was so nice to see everyone and see how the kids are growing and how cute they all were in their costumes. A couple of our friends had babies at around the same time Sammy was born and as I looked at the pictures, I was thinking - we should be there. I can't believe we aren't there. It made me so sad, I had to stop looking at the pictures. I literally X'd the page. I couldn't handle it.
So my emotions are just back and forth. I am so happy and so blessed to be living here. We did the right thing in moving here.
But missing everyone is rough. Really rough. Does it ever get easier?
My dream plan, when Shu's business ends up being wildly successful, is to be able to spend about 4-6 weeks in the summer in America. This way, I would have some time to spend with friends and family. And to do some good shopping of course. And I would know every year when I would be going back and when I would see them again. That's one of the really hard parts now - we have no plans to go back to Detroit, we can't afford it! And we have no idea when we will come back either. So I don't know when I will see my friends there again. I don't even know when I will see my Mom!
So - to all your veteran Aliyah people - does it get easier? The missing everyone part?