You know how when you’re stretching and you hit your body’s flexibility limit, then you take a deep breath and try to push a little further past your limit…

That’s how I feel pretty much all the time.

This time demands us to stretch ourselves and do things that we never imagined having the ability, let alone the wherewithal, to do.

Eventually we’ll do a retrospective and realize that we hit some significant developmental milestones – as a nation and as individuals.

There are the obvious milestones…
First time living through a hostage crisis this large and extreme.
First time living through a massacre of this scale.
First time feeling the full weight of antisemitism.
First time supporting so many friends with kids and partners in active combat duty.

And there are more subtle developmental milestones that the mainstream doesn’t talk about as much; like the first time your kid puts his arm through his sweater by themselves. They don’t mention that on the doctor’s chart, but you know that your kid’s life just changed forever.

For me, some of those milestones were:
The first time a siren went off and my youngest was home alone.
The first time supporting a friend who was asked to extend her regular volunteer position with the Jewish burial society and tend to female victims of Oct 7th.
The first time we lost a solider that we knew personally.
The first time I left my home in 17 days to travel 2.5 hours to work.
The first time I participated in a multi-casualty-event simulation.
The first time my daughter understood that children were kidnapped.
The first hostage that was released.
The first time sending a kid to the IDF.
And today, another first.
Today was the first time I supported a friend who had just learned that a solider in her husband’s unit (close as brothers) was killed in battle last night in Gaza. I did my best to support my very tough, very capable friend, a mother of three young boys, while she worked out all the bits and pieces of what this could mean for her man. Knowing full well, that because he’s still in Gaza in active combat duty, it’s unlikely that she will get an update for sometime.

There were first good days too.
The first time it felt okay to listen to music and enjoy.
The first wedding I attended after Oct 7.

And there will be more firsts.

May the next rounds of firsts be full of way more honey than sting.