Four years ago, after making aliyah to Israel, my family and I began a tradition of traveling to the Sea of Galilee so that I could participate in the annual “Speedo Sea of Galilee swim“. It is the largest amateur sports event in Israel (this year it celebrated its 60th year) and is among the world’s 100 major open-water swimming events.
My first year, I swam with my good friend who has a physical disability. I swam at her pace. It took us 2 1/2 hours to complete (non-stop).
I have to admit, I was proud of myself.
Up until that point, I had never participated in a swimming event of that kind and swimming with approximately 12,000 other individuals was just enthralling.
I was curious if my husband would be waiting for me.
As I swam my last laps. looked all around to find him.
He wasn’t on the hill with the others.
I was disappointed.
Then, I saw him.
He was in the water!
He was approaching me!
As if he wanted to meet me halfway!
Like in our wedding ceremony.
What a guy.
How so simply sweet.
When my feet were able to touch the ground, I started to walk as quickly as I could towards him, even though my legs felt like jelly.
I was sure he’d want to hug me, but his arms were not open to welcome me.
And, his face wasn’t that of pride, but of concern.
“I can’t find Avi Chai,” he said.
Words I will never forget.
“WHAT the F%?$%^$%?
What do you mean you can’t find our son?
Then, I got stuck.
Weren’t you watching him?
Really? How hard is it watch a few kids for a few hours?
Are you that irresponsible?
What were you doing?
Reading a newspaper?
How could you lose a 3 year-old?
Our 3 year old!
And, why are you here in the water and not up on the campground searching for him?”
Until I knew the answer to my question.
Because he had already searched the campground for 1/2 an hour and was unsuccessful in finding our son. He came to water because he thought he may have come down for a swim on his own.
Perhaps he drowned.
My heart stopped.
I started screaming.
This isn’t a clear pool. This is the Sea of Galilee. If someone goes under, you don’t see them.
To make a long story short (and happy), he was found about 20 minutes later (with the help of the Israeli police), watching a performance on stage with one of his friends.
The point is, I was stuck on so many things that I initially paid more attention to my frustration, anger, and disappointment, than I did of taking charge of the situation at hand.
In other words, I had to have my husband hear it from me.
There was no way around that.
And, I admit it.
But, the truth of the matter is, it can happen to all of us.
And, it does.
Just like it happened to me yesterday.
At the annual swim.
Where my “buddy” was not my friend, but my daughter and her friend.
And, the plan was to stick together in the water.
And, at one point, I lost them.
Just like that, within seconds, I couldn’t find them.
I didn’t see them anywhere.
Could they have gone on without me?
How far could they have gotten in the few seconds that I lost them?
Are they worried that they can’t me?
Why didn’t I come up with Plan B for such a scenario?
My heart was pumping so fast (aside from the all the physical exercise I was doing).
My head was racing. I couldn’t think straight.
And, then I heard my daughter cry out, “Hi, Ema! We’re over here!”
Sitting on one of the floating docks, resting.
Like nothing happened.
Everything was fine.
And, it was.
A few years ago, my husband and I took a couple’s course. I remember the facilitator asked each person in the group, “How you do relate to your spouse?”
Relate to each other?
Most people needed assistance with this answer. They needed clarification. What does it mean to relate to someone? How do you describe that?
And, what I’ve realized over time that I do (with my husband and others, and even myself for that matter) is that I relate to them first by getting stuck on something they do (or don’t do) and only second do I relate to them by just being with him.
And, it is for this purpose that I am blogging.
To bring more awareness to my life that I do this.
And, to learn to take a breath before getting stuck (or at least after getting stuck so that I don’t get stuck for too long).
Because the truth of the matter is, my husband is:
F$&^%&%^ beautiful (if you ask me),
and a GREAT F%$^% father.
So, it would be well worth my efforts to wake up to that.
Otherwise, it’ll be me that’s the one who’s irresponsible.