The view from here

So I’m going to steal an idea from my sister. Of course, she has a vast readership and posts every day (not to mention working full time. I never fully appreciated that until this year!) whereas I bet it’s mostly a few old friends and my mom reading this. So who knows. I am grateful to every one of you for following our adventures, and curious what you want to know. I’m also cramming for an intimidating appointment next week; Terence and I will be Skyping about “life in Jerusalem” with Launa’s sixth grade class. And I’m afraid of middle school students.

So, ask me anything. Is there anything I haven’t discussed, about which you’re curious? Anything I’ve written that is confusing, needs more dialogue? Or any mundane little thing  you wonder? For example, this was the view from my kitchen window this past Saturday morning around 6 a.m. I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to answer!

About hilarymead

Taking two young kids, a great husband, and a whole lot of questions to Jerusalem for a year's sabbatical.
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4 Responses to The view from here

  1. John Burk says:

    I’m curious about parenting styles in Israel. I’ve been totally taken by the blog Free Range Kids, and wonder if Israeli parents are more aligned with the “free range” parenting philoosophy than US parents? Also, are Israeli children more likely to be outdoors than US children?

    • hilarymead says:

      That’s a great question, John, because what one culture sees as “free range” another may see as helicoptering. (Speaking of “free range”, we have now lost each of our kids once this year…Hannah in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on 12/23, and Margaret in the Old City on Easter. At least it was equal opportunity, crowded, Christian lost-ness…). I can’t speak to the second question that much because my sample is limited to a major urban area, but I can say that kids (and parents) spend a TON of time in the park. On the first issue, my sense is YES at least based on the middle class, Jewish secular and national religious parents I see most often. Israeli parents are pretty hands-off. For instance, it’s rare to see a parent intervening during a tantrum or playground tussle. It’s not a big deal if your kid makes noise. And people are just more laid back about some things that would horrify Americans (e.g. it’s standard practice for kids of both genders and various ages to use the park as a bathroom). I’ve heard it explained that Israelis want to preserve their kids’ childhoods because they are so aware of what lies ahead, or that they understand that a lot of the structure, discipline, “growing up” will come from the Army.

  2. Hilary- I’m sure you have a much bigger readership that you’d ever imagine. I, for one, stop by your blog routinely & am constantly in awe of how you’ve created a new life for your family 1/2-way around the world. At this point, what do you think you’ll miss the most about Jerusalum once you’re back in the US?

    • hilarymead says:

      Thank you, Heidi, and thanks for stopping by! That’s a great question. It’s hard to separate things I love about Jerusalem and things I love about this gift of time, this “year on” as a family. Most of all, I’ll miss the extraordinary density and intensity of this place, the layers upon layers of history, prayers, and suffering, and I’ll miss having the time to discover and contemplate those layers. But more practically I will miss: living in a city, walking everywhere, having a great park outside my front door, low humidity/bright sunshine, lots and lots of time with Terence and the girls, rosemary bushes, olive trees, pomegranates, hot pita bread, and my favorite $5 white wine. OK, that was more than one thing wasn’t it?

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