Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother Talk, Israeli Style

During a recent visit to New York I tried to have a "mother of soldier" chat with a mother of an American solider, but we discovered that being a mother of an Israeli soldier is nothing like that of having a child in the American armed forces.

When Israeli mothers of soldiers get together one of the big topics is how to get all the laundry done before the soldier-kids have to rush back to base. For some of us, more than one child serves at the same time. Washing machines are frequently small and slow and my sons' uniforms couldn't be washed together, because one was filled with dirt and the other with machine oil. 

My trick was to make sure we had a large supply, enough to fill two backpacks, of uniforms, socks, underwear etc.  Instead of rushing to the laundry room as soon as the soldiers came home, they would just put their dirty stuff in the hamper and then fill their bags with clean clothes.  I then had all week to do their army laundry.

I was looked at  with total incomprehension. American soldiers don't take their uniforms home for mommy to launder.  And the distances between home and the base or frontline could mean that a home visit may only be once a year, not a couple of times a month or more.


Rickismom said...

Our small country makes us vulnerable. But I am ever gratefull that I see my son(s) most weekends. That difference was apparent to me immediately. American mothers have it much harder, that's for sure....

Batya said...

rm, I agree
There are advantages to our small size.