Thursday, December 3, 2009

Parent Protecsia

I learned this week that "Protecsia," an essential concept of living and survival in Israel, works even better when your prop includes a baby in a stroller.

I had always resented that men and women who had family obligations could use their children or spouses as excuses, whereas it was assumed that I, as a single professional, did not have any responsibilities, or for that matter, a life. Why couldn't I work until eight at night, after all, what else could monopolize my time or my interest?

I started to return to work this week, albeit on an extremely limited scale; on the one hand, a few hours apart from my daughter is good and healthy for both of us, but I am not ready to give up time with her, as she learns and changes daily. One patient came 20 minutes late, and for the first time in my Chiropractic career, I was able to say without any hesitation or guilt that she would receive less time, because I had other obligations. I had a child to pick up from her care taker. This pronouncement was accepted immediately, in a child-friendly and family-friendly country like Israel, who could refuse the mother of a newborn.

Today, Raphaela and I woke up earlier than usual, in order to get to downtown Jerusalem and apply for an infant passport. Though I have a car and drive to most places, I dislike the parking situation in the Jaffa Road area, messy to begin with and worse with the never-ending light rail construction. So we took a cab (Raphaela's first cab ride!) and when we arrived at the offices of the Ministry of the Interior, the guard immediately pushed me and my stroller to the head of the line. Because I was the only person on line with a two month old baby, I bypassed the normal procedure, was the first to be processed and spent a total of 15 minutes in their offices, a personal record.

In fact, I was then able to go to two other government offices in the same general area, walk home with the stroller from the center of town to my neighborhood, and still have a late breakfast at ten am. This morning far surpassed my expectations, with Raphaela quietly sleeping in the stroller and allowing us access and privilege I have never experienced before.

I can't wait to be one of those mothers who gets to board a plane before all the other sardines in Coach.


Denise said...

she's adorable!
you should go to and send us an email with her name for a chance to win a free hairbow of your choice......

Commenter Abbi said...

It works at Misrad Hatachbura (DMV) also. My brother once took one of my infant daughters off my hands for a few hours when I was sick once and he got his license renewed in no time.