Monday, September 01, 2008

September 1 - School Starts!

There are many ways that living in Israel creates a feeling of unity for its people - whether some of these things are done on purpose or not. September 1st is one of those ways. The entire country starts school on the same day. Now, in most places in the States, school starts after Labor Day and most people do return around the same date. However, they don't all start exactly on the same day and I've found this to be the most interesting thing here.

There is a feeling of excitement on August 31st, as every child knows that school will begin the next day (and every parent is excited to finally have the kids back in a routine!) Yesterday, the yishuv did a huge carnival for the kids. There were huge bouncy toys, popcorn, art projects, clowns and more. Everyone came together to celebrate the end of the summer and to see each other.

Then, this morning, it was school time! It happens to be Rosh Chodesh today as well, so all my boys are dressed in blue and white. They woke up excited this morning, gobbled down their breakfast and were ready to go. When we left the house, we could see the whole neighborhood in motion. Everyone was taking their kids to the first day of school and was kissing them goodbye. This year, Matan started third grade in a new school building and Yehuda went to 1st in a new school. Yehuda will be taking the bus for the first time to Efrat each day. Amichai and Eliav are still on the yishuv and Azriel is home with me! As Josh said this morning, I can finally start my maternity leave now.

While I kissed them goodbye, I actually found myself a bit sad that the summer was ending. I had been so nervous before I had the baby that I would have everyone home and underfoot for all of August. While it was a bit trying at times, it was also nice to have everyone home and to have a more relaxed setting without homework, schedules, etc. Now, it's off to another structured school year with much to do. We say goodbye to the summer with a bit of sadness and hello to the school year with some's also an exciting time as I watch the boys grow and start with new possibilities.

Josh, quite fittingly, also starts a new job today. We are both every excited about it and hope that it will be a fantastic opportunity for him to grow and contribute to Israel and to aliyah.

Here's to a great school year and great new beginnings for everyone!

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