The new reality of my life as a soldier's mother seems to be waiting for notifications of reserve duty. Shmulik has been told that he will be serving in the Reserves on Yom Kippur. It isn't clear exactly what he will be doing. Most times, it seems, they take the boys who served in Hesder back in to go to various bases to help with preparation for the solemn day, as well as being there to be counted as part of the religious quorum - the minyan, which requires 10 men.
Meanwhile, Elie told me yesterday that later this month, he's been called for two days. I don't know what they have planned for him either, but at least it is at a base not too far from home so I assume he will be able to come home at night rather than remain on base.
A new reality that Israel asks from its soldiers. You've served your time - now go make a life. Go live, find a girl, settle down, study, get a job, raise your children...but we'll be calling you back and when we do, you'll come. In a week, in a month. For a day, for a few days, for a week, for several weeks.
So much will happen to my sons in the next decade or two of their lives and yet the army will remain a constant within the framework of where they go. It is an amazing concept. Reserve Duty. You will serve your nation until you are 40 years old...it is, for a 21-year-old or a 24-year-old young man, a period of time beyond anything they can imagine. It is, for their mother, a daunting reminder of our lives here.