So last night was scary.
At 6:30 pm, sirens blared in every northern town – with early reports suggesting that dozens of drones with fighters were launched from Lebanon and Syria at Israel.
Fear mounted immediately; so thick you could slather it.
Turns out, it was a false alarm.
Apparently, the northern home front command made a mistake.
Funny memes were trending within the hour after we got the all-clear. (Humor will forever be my favorite coping mechanism. It’s not always an option, but when it is – grab it and hold on to it for dear life).
It was terrifying.
I was with my daughter, Batya (23) when the sirens sounded. We were three minutes into a meeting with the local medics trying to assess the anticipated needs of our community in terms of readiness for large-scale emergency response equipment (we are shamefully under-supplied).
We ran for shelter at our community center (which happens to be the local base for the troop of soldiers our community is hosting).
My daughter, Shishi (newly 13), was home alone, with Harley, our dog.
So, now I know what terrifying feels like.
If any of you reading this is a mother of three or more children, you’ll remember the awareness that rose in you when your third child was born, and you became fully cognizant of your two arms and your two legs in a way you never had before and you thought…how do I grab more than two at a time?
I embodied that awareness last night.
And to really keep it real for you – because I think it’s important to be honest about our own flagrant humanity – because I was so consumed with concern for Shishi, when Ma’ayani (19) sent me a message from the next town over to ask if we were all okay, I said yes gave her the update on all of our whereabouts…I did not even ask her if she was okay.
End of the story:
Shishi was totally fine.
Kept herself calm and collected.
Ma’ayan forgave me. And said later, she prefers me to concern myself with Shishi before her.
As far as emotional experiences go, “terrified” is not an active member of my internal task force. I’m a coper, born and raised by copers.
But these are unprecedented times.
Terror has infiltrated our land, our hearts, and our minds.
Every few minutes, families are getting notified that their loved one or someone their loved one loves has been killed.
The terrible has arrived.
Now, we have to learn how to live with it and learn how to keep it strapped in.
Here are some things that I know:
1) Not everyone is built to handle trauma and crisis.
2) It’s important to make sure that your desire to help is actually helpful before we start “throwing our help and goodness all over everybody.” – Anne Lamott
3) With grief and loss, there is nothing to fix. Just hold the space.
4) Panic is different than grief.
Here are two simple tools you can try for yourself or your kids if you are feeling stressed or scared.
Imagine you have a ladybug on your hand. 🐞.
Use your breath while you trace the ladybug on your hand. Trace her climbing up your thumb nice and slow, (Inhale).
Now, down your thumb. (Exhale)
Index finger…up she goes (Inhale), Down she goes (exhale).
You can model this on your own hand or use your hand to model the ladybug on your kid’s hand.
Rub your palms together back and forth, back and forth, like you’re rubbing two sticks together to make fire. Do this until your hands are warm from all the rubbing.
Place your hands on your knees. Take a deep breath. In and out.
Repeat: Rub, palms back and forth, back and forth.
Place your hands on your heart.
Place your hands over your eyes.
These are scary times.
Fear is ripping through us all, in and outside of this land. It spreads like wildfire. It’s natural to be scared.
It’s really important to not allow the fear to overtake us. That doesn’t help anyone. Plus, it’s exactly what the enemy is hoping for.
We need to be strong for each other. This is mission-critical.
Sending love and strength from the northern front.
A little something to lift the spirits, this was part of my bomb shelter experience last night…one of the soldiers was meant to have an engagement party last night, so they threw him one…