One of the things I have found remarkable about our lives in Israel since making aliyah three and a half years ago has been how relatively healthy our children are. True, like most new immigrants, we were all dreadfully sick in our first year here. The Cap’n missed three solid weeks of ulpan while the girls each took a turn with a week-long fever, which would begin on Shabbat afternoon and taper off the following Shabbat morning, to be followed by the next girl’s fever spiking and settling in. That, plus our own colds, were not fun.
And this is not to say that the Cap’n and I are so healthy all the time either. We have had our share of colds, but even worse than the occasional virus are the allergies here, especially in Efrat where it seems something is blooming or otherwise reproducing at any given time, and the regular doses of Loratidine we take are more for making us less miserable than for making us actually feel well.
But the children have been in the pink almost every winter. Banana missed a couple of days with a fever this year, and Peach pretended to be sick last month (which we humored for a day, then sent her packing back to school). But in general, they go to school feeling fine every day.
Oy—the memories I have of the flu, the chicken pox, the rotten colds that made me miserable for days and weeks on end! Living in Hingham (Mass.) where my bedroom was an icebox, in Denver where we burrowed tunnels under the snow in the front yard, and in Portland (Ore.) where the rain could keep us indoors for days on end were what I grew up with, and the viruses I caught which kept me miserable cannot be counted.
It’s a particular joy, and one I hopefully anticipated before making aliyah, to see my children healthy (yes, they eat well, including their vegetables) and able to play outside nearly every day of the year. Even if the wind is blowing or the weather is cold, the ground is usually dry and the sun is usually out. I suppose if one really wants to live in paradise, one could move to Hawaii which has essentially one season—warm. But I couldn’t give up seasons altogether, and now the almond trees are flowering, the tulips and narcissus are up and blooming, the cyclamen and anemones are dotting the rocks and grass on the hillsides among the ancient terraces here in the Gush, and we still get a rainy day here and there to keep it all green. It’s all good.
Except for those allergies…