Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Empty Nest

My boss was getting irritated at the clicking of my keyboard and wanted me to just sit still while she read some reports. I understood how she got to be irritated at such little noise. After all, Hubby and I are very much getting used to the empty nest in our home. My two eldest are married, and the younger two daughters stay most of the week at their boyfriends' homes. I see them only once or twice a week. My son is finally esconced in the basic IDF training course after being in army jail on and off during the past 6 months and we're so happy at the peace and quiet that reigns in our home.

What was the problem with the army and my son? He wanted to be in the horribly macho unit of the border police and the army wanted to give him the lesser status of military police. Then after going AWOL twice, he turned himself in to the army where they put him in jail and then sent him to basic training. I'm grateful the army knew what they were doing and didn't put him in with the border police. They could be brutal. My son is not. Now we speak once a day while he's in basic military training. The first week was wonderful for him, then less wonderful the second week, and by the third week, he sounded depressed.

"Everyone does what they want and when I do one small thing wrong, they punish me." He had been on guard duty at 3:30 am and then at 7:00 am went to his tent to lie down for 10 minutes.

He's devastated by the fact that they docked him 50 shekels ($13) from his pay and believes he's getting the rough treatment because he's not from the tougher North African lineage, and often it seems like he's blaming me for having given birth to him in North America.

I try to instill some sense of "don't do what everyone else is doing, just do what's right", but it's not instilling.

Meanwhile, Hubby is elated at the peace and quiet at home and we worry that our son will get placed in a unit where he'll be coming home every day, instead of the usual one weekend every two weeks.

We looked at each other like the Al and Peggy Bundys do when they know they're being bad parents and laughed. The army better not do this to us, we said out loud. Don't they know our food bill has been slashed in half because he's not in the house???!!

"Don't worry" said Hubby, trying to cheer me up. "If that happens, we'll just change the locks,"