Sunday, January 11, 2009

21st Birthday

Achikam turned 21 today. He's been on the battlefield for 9 days.

I have various images from the day of his birth, as any parent does. In the late afternoon I returned to the hospital with Meir and Nechama so they could meet their new brother and see their mother. I remember walking down the hall pushing the tiny bed, with two-year-old Nechama strutting ahead of us, bursting with pride that she had a little brother.

His company sent a pickup truck around the country today, collecting packages. Junk food and sugar, but it comes from home so it's special. And we added a letter, saying the usual and predictable. Since it's his birthday, I added a comment about turning 21: in some countries this has legal aspects of full adulthood. Not here, where there's no legal signifcance to turning 21 - and how could there be, when we train our 18-year-olds to shoulder the ultimate burdens a nation can ask of its men, and they accept?

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