Monday, March 7, 2011

Full Circle

This afternoon, Raphaela and I joined Olga and Mika, and Yael and Michal and Daniel at Gymboree; we played right downstairs from the very class rooms where I studied in Ulpan almost 14 years ago, when I made aliyah.

Between myself (a single parent), Olga (in a traditional marriage) and Yael and Michal (a committed religious Gay couple), it was remarkable to me how our concerns and observations converged.  We spoke about the price of child care, methods for getting our children to sleep past five in the morning, our disappointment with a lack of grandparent assistance, and our inability to watch more than a 45 minute television program without nodding off on the couch.  I caught up with Olga, whose mother was recently cleared from a diagnosis of cancer; and with Yael, she and Michal continue to have issues with both their families accepting the permanence of their relationship.

All four of us women expressed the desire to add a sibling into the mix, and all four of us wondered where we would find the physical stamina to do so.

Each of the three children - born within a month of each other - expressed their own personalities within this bright and adventure-filled room.  Mika was the most independent by far, Daniel played with the "boy stuff" like cars and balls, and Raphaela threw herself off anything that vaguely resembled a slide.   And all of us mothers marveled at how much these three had grown, considering we all know each other since pregnancy. I would say this was an appropriate venue the week that Women are celebrated throughout the globe.

Once again, for the second time within the last week, I felt like I belonged to a wonderful and loving group of people.  My Ulpan teachers would be very proud to see me sitting comfortably in the same place, 14 years later, conversing in Hebrew, English and Russian, a member of the Israeli landscape.

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