I was downstairs this morning, getting ready to go to shacharis, when I heard the front door open. That was puzzling, since I knew Debbie was upstairs. It turns out it was Yitzi, coming back from the makolet (!). Debbie had sent him to pick up a few things.
This was yet another reminder, as we enter the stretch run here, that there are going to be some jarring adjustments when we get back to Chicago. Yitzi is not going to be strolling to the store alone to pick up pudding and yogurt. Nor will he be walking himself to school, or often seeing Debbie or me walking through the square when he comes out for recess. School itself is going to be very different for him; we’re just now beginning to understand just how far ahead he’s going to be in limud hakodesh (nonsecular subjects). He has been learning Sefer Bereshis (the Book of Genesis) and Shoftim (Judges), in Hebrew, with enough comprehension to ask questions that stump not just his rebbe, but also the principal (major nachas for us, by the way).
It is going to be really strange to be back in Chicago. Driving all over the place will be weird. We’ve gotten used to much less living space – we’re going to be lost in our house. (Frankly, if not for the love of our neighbors and the pain of moving, I’d be tempted to sell our house and move into something smaller upon our return.) There won’t be any jukim (yay!) but also no lizards on the porch (boo!).
Of course, going back to the office, and tucking in an hour of Torah learning here and there when I can, is going to be a massive change from the luxury of learning all day. Not to mention being surrounded by others who are doing the same.
It will be strange not to be in a place full of Jews, where being observant is routine.
I won’t constantly feel guilty about the lameness of my Hebrew, but I won’t constantly have the opportunity to work on it.
It is going to be very weird.