A month here in Capitalism Central and we're still hangin' tight. Days are filled with outings - nature hikes in pine populated public parks (say that quickly four times), swimming pool dip-ins, dusk fireworks displays, ventures downtown where beautiful Gothic and Victorian architecture add to the lively open-air urbanity.
Burb life is simply not my thang. Yes, it is incredibly calming to look out over a lake each morning. And for the past three weeks I've observed what appear to be Warbler Finches nested in the awnings of the porch off my bedroom. Last week five (!) new additions hatched and the parents have since been frantically flying about each day, all day, bringing them food. I thought I had it rough? These two tag-team each other on sorties from sunup to sundown.
Raph, influenced by sudden exposure to television and grandiosity, is hyper junk-food and retail aware. I am regulating the television but on those slow days that writing assignments call for hours at a stretch, I disappear into computer and he disappears into the Cartoon Network....His sugar intake has definitely increased. What a constant battle THAT would be if we lived here full time. But then, we wouldn't have t.v. on this continent either so it would be less of an issue.
Overall, one thing that occurred to me EARLY on in our arrival is that extended visits with family are for brave souls. Not only is the past hanging out at every imagined corner, the potential future is right there should we choose to observe it in our parents. And not to forget the present with all its virtues and pains.
Parents help out with the present bits by blurting things most friends or acquaintances wouldn't. The truths we harbor yet avoid: Our parenting mistakes, the diet ladder we've fallen off or the ailing & shabby wardrobe desperately in need of urgent attention.
Seeing parents age is also tough. Perhaps there's forgetfulness or a tremor or arthritic hands too pained to knot a little boy's shoe strings or a physician father's eyes unable to see the stitches that need removing.
The joy of unconditional love, comfort, generosity, nurturing and laughter until it hurts are unparalleled, however.
This visit has meant letting go of a few fantasies. While my parents love my son and adore me, they're not the babysit or take him out to Chuck E Cheese types and that's probably not age related. I wish they could live close by in Tel Aviv and I don't want to start thinking about our goodbyes at the end of August.
I'll enjoy for now. Why moan until necessary? But then again...
And for those who caught my Gaza operation "Summer Dream" hideous blunder...Geez! Tell me next time, okay?