This past Friday we took our teenage sons to do some important errands.
First, we went to exchange our gas masks. We have known that a war is coming for quite some time, but this past week, when the Lebanese army shot at IDF soldiers at the border and killed one of them, we knew that things were heating up very quickly, and the time to really prepare is now. The last time we received the masks my kids were about 7 and 8 years old. The boxes were “decorated” by them with watercolors – an exercise in the school to take away some of the fear engendered by them needing to have them in the first place.
Now both of my kids are in adult sizes. Westbankpapa, in his usually thorough way, asked each son to try on the sample masks to make sure that the size was correct (adult sizes come in youth, medium and large). Both needed medium in the end. I got a chill looking at them with the masks on – the sort of feeling that makes you want to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over your head. The last time we received the masks, I related to them as “just boxes” that I would then put on top of the closet to gather dust (which is what they did, thank G-d). Seeing my kids try them on and learn how to adjust the straps made me see them for what they were – a protection against chemical warfare.
We then went to the nearest mall to do some clothing shopping. My kids are skinny but getting taller by the minute, and they have finally reached the smallest of men’s sizes in trousers (with a good belt tightened to the last notch….). They have also reached the age where they are extremely picky about what looks good, although they do ask me my opinion also. They know that they can choose “cool” clothes but not ones that make them look “sleazy” – and they always need me to approve their t-shirts before buying one (I read them what is written in English). Slogans like “Dry wit” is ok, “free beer” isn’t!
They still need some dress shirts for Shabbat – for that they will go with westbankpapa sometime this week. Now I just need the schoolbooks…..