Friday, February 7, 2014

That Woman: We're Heading Stateside

We're seven weeks in to life with Ash, and it's magical.


The first few weeks are hard and exciting, then things get rough if and when baby gets colicky, so you try a few things, figure out a plan, and attack. Then baby gets better, happier, and then the cooing and moments-that-sound-like-giggles-but-aren't-exactly start and it's falling in love like the first moment all over again.

I've learned to truly appreciate the Asher Yatzar blessing that Jews recite after going to the bathroom thanking HaShem for the proper functioning of the body. With a colicky baby whose gas and reflux make him a mini Godzilla, you realize the blessing of communication and proper body function. Can you imagine not having the ability to say "it hurts here, please help me" ...? That's a baby's life.

And now, with baby having calmed down a bit, we're off to the United States so he can meet his Grandma Deb and Grandpa Bob, his Uncles John and Joe, his cousins Owynn and Oliver, and his Aunt Jess. And ... maybe, just maybe ... he'll meet another new cousin if she shows up on time.

I'm scared to death of becoming "that woman" on the plane. You know, the one with the screaming child that won't calm down. I don't sleep on planes in any circumstances anyhow, so I don't mind being up and about with Ash while Mr. T catches some Zzzzs, but being "that woman" has always been my greatest fear when it comes to parenthood.

Assuming all goes well and the three legs of the flight go according to plan, we'll be stateside on Tuesday for a few weeks in Nebraska and Colorado. I'm hoping for snow, lots of cold weather, and all of the comforts of being back in familiar surroundings (Target, gluten-free and vegan food out my ears, and the ease and quiet of a life I know well).

I'll admit I'm anxious about going home. The fact that I call it home is enough to get me lashed here in Israel, too.

When you make aliyah to Israel, you are home. Right? But I still refer to Nebraska as home. If home is where the heart is, does it mean my heart is in the U.S.? Does it mean I'm not really committed to life in Israel?

It's stupid that I'm eager to shop at Trader Joe's and pick up the gluten-free food that made life easy and liveable back in the U.S. I'm excited to go to Target where the clothes are inexpensive and fit me. I'm elated to see coworkers I haven't met yet and to spend even half a day working with them in a "normal" work environment for the first time in a year and a half. But at the same time, it isn't stupid. It's just the life I know. The life I've been comfortable with. It's the life I know how to live. Emotionally and financially.

Since Ash was born, I've been scared to death of postpartum depression because of what I've been through in the past. I've been keeping the most obsessive and close tabs on it. Luckily, I haven't been experiencing depression.

But am I happy?

There's something a little askew right now, and I'm worried that going home is going to show me that little bit that I'm missing. That nudge of what I need to feel stable. And then what?

I suppose we'll see what two weeks in the U.S. does for me. Maybe I'll have the reaction of some friends that people in the U.S. are commercially obsessed and life there is miserable. I have an inkling that it will be quite the opposite of reactions.

Either way, I hope Ash doesn't make me "that woman" on the plane. Let's start there.