An open letter to my family after moving to Israel
“Don’t fall in love,” you say, like you always do when I skip away another few thousand miles. “If you have your babies far from me, I don’t think my heart could bear it.” And I laugh like I always do, because babies seem so far away. A life with them feels more foreign to me than any kind of physical relocation I could throw myself into right now. And while I can’t promise you that I won’t fall in love in this place, I can promise you that I will never raise a child here. I know for certain that my heart couldn’t bear it.
I sit with a man, flipping through the photo album of his mandatory army service 12 years ago. He had the face of a child, he and his friends all had the faces of children in their uniforms, holding their guns and smiling at the camera. I watch all the 18-year-old boys and girls walking to the bus stop on Sunday mornings, headed back to their posts across the country, as I ride the sherut to my Hebrew class. And I think of myself at 18, all bright-eyed and hopeful and idealistic, rolling in the grass on Farrand Field, a freshman in college. I was still so naïve. And I want that for my yet-unimagined children so fiercely it sets my teeth on edge.
—excerpted from An open letter to my family after moving to Israel