I’m feeding the baby, and my older son is playing outside. I hesitate for a second, then summon him. You can continue playing outside, I explain in a composed voice, but promise me, the minute you hear the siren you come in. OK?
He smiles at me, makes the promise, don’t worry mommy. Calms me down. For a second I wonder if our roles might be reversed.
I start folding the clothing. What should I take? This horrible weather. November and still hot. Need to plan for any type of weather. And my daughter is being toilet trained. Need lots of extra clothes.
“What’s taking you so long? You don’t understand how serious this is, do you?”
Not really. More serious than what it’s been until now? We’ve been living with the missiles for years, even though these last months have been crazy.
We don’t have a proper bomb shelter. We can’t take a four-month-old baby to a public shelter. We can’t stay in rocket range. Then I hear the explosions. Though distant, their impact is felt. So close my husband brings the children in the house. “Stay here,” he commands, “until we finish loading the car. The sirens are going to start soon.”