My Favorite Whine

You know that joke about the JAP whose favorite whine is “BUT DADDYYYYYY, I WANT THIS ONE!”?
That’s not what this post is about. Nor is it really a favorite whine of mine.
That first whine of the sirens going off when rockets are being fired at Beer Sheva again. That instant in which I very quickly go from telling myself “Dude, no way,” to “Way, dude, way,” and “what the fuck are you doing talking to yourself like a metalhead stoner, get moving.”
All it takes is for it to happen once, and then for weeks later my ear will be constantly tuned to that frequency, seeking it, waiting for it, knowing it’s going to come any moment now, so we have to be ready for it ALL THE TIME.
During operation Cast Lead, three and some years ago, the sirens weren’t working properly. I had to follow the radio to know if there were sirens going off in town, because we couldn’t hear them on our street. On the first few days, before it became the neighborhood bomb shelter, the kids’ daycare was still active, and it was a major relief for me because I knew they were behind thick, safe concrete walls whether we could hear the sirens or not.
On one of those days, Yiftah had a fever and stayed home with me. We were still having breakfast and I hadn’t turned the radio on yet and I heard a loud and close explosion. I don’t remember the exact sequence, it was sheer instinct, but in a heartbeat, I had knocked him onto the floor and was shielding him with my body on the living room floor.
So having sirens that actually go off before the explosions do is a relief. Did I just say that having sirens that go off before the explosions do is a relief?
I don’t react like that to sirens when I’m alone. Having kids makes it different. I will not have them hurt. This is where the unreasonably stubborn me comes out.
The truly annoying part is that I do not want to see anyone’s kids hurt. And I always remember that everybody has a mommy. There has got to be a better way for all of us to work this out. Surely we can evolve that far.


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