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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Smoke gets in your eyes

It’s 12:45 AM…I just tucked my 8 year-old son into bed, and I’m waiting up for my 10 year-old daughter to get home. I feel like the most irresponsible parent on the planet, but if the groups of kids still wandering around the neighborhood are any indication, I’m in good company.

Today is Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the 49-day count between Passover and Shavuot. Outside of Israel people don’t seem to make much of a fuss about this particular day, but here it is a very big deal. The essence of the celebration revolves around the making of bonfires…Everywhere!

For weeks, kids have been running around collecting firewood in forests, backyards and construction sites. By the end of this past week, the wood gathering had reached a fever pitch with kids bragging to one-another about how large their pile had become.

Ariella and Gilad each had bonfires to attend. Ariella went to one run be her youth group, and Gilad went to one at the house of one of his classmates. Zahava and I took Yonah to a big neighborhood bonfire on the hillside behind our street.

No matter which direction we looked, every hillside and vacant lot was dotted with fires. Each one had a crowd of people around it, cooking, eating, laughing and singing. The sound of happy conversations and a guitar being strummed, combined with the smell of cooking potatoes, hamburgers, hot dogs, and onions made for a very festive atmosphere. It was great fun!

Of course, being an overprotective American, I was a little unnerved at how close some of the kids were to the fires, and how they all seemed to be wandering around with sharp sticks. I expected any moment, that somebody was going to pass out scissors for them to run around with. I guess I’m just the nervous sort, since nobody else seemed to mind. I suppose I’ll have to learn to relax if I’m ever going to be a ‘real Israeli’.

Well, that was the door, so Ariella must be home. I really thought I had a few more years before I’d be waiting up for the kids. I’m not ready for them to be so independent!

[sigh]

That fire must have been pretty smoky because for some reason my eyes are all watery…

Posted by David Bogner on May 9, 2004 | Permalink

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ariella's home already? such a wimpy town! I just returned from sh'mira (neighborhood watch) and saw our 10-year-old girl around the fire with her b'nei akiva group - she basically told me not to wait up :)

Posted by: yonah | May 9, 2004 2:11:23 AM

I really didn't expect the, 'my daughter can whoop your daughter' from you (Rhonda, maybe...). That sounds a lot like a couple of cans of Red Bull® talkin'!

Give me a call in the morning and let me know how you're functioning, tough guy!!! :-)

Thanks for checking in.

Posted by: David | May 9, 2004 10:54:19 AM

Just wait, David. This is only the beginning.

For years you shlep them around to chugim and school and after-school events and then, suddenly, one of their older friends has his/her driving license and then you will NEVER fall asleep until you hear their key in the front door! (Of course, when yours finally get their own license and take the car, your car will be maintained like it never was before and you *still* won't fall asleep until they're home.)

Posted by: jennifer | May 11, 2004 12:38:32 AM

The upside is that I don't have that much more hair I can lose.

Thanks for the good news, though. It's always nice to have something to look forward to. :-)

Posted by: David | May 11, 2004 6:25:42 AM

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