Saturday, November 1, 2008

Third Generation Friendship

The Helds are our best friends. The late Eva Held and my late mother in law were good friends since their childhood. Their friendship with its many turns is a story in itself. Second generation Andrei, Eva's third child, and my husband Peter are also best friends and third generation Held twin sisters Tali and Ronit and my children, Dan and Tom, are also good friends.

Hygene extremist Zoe (aka Dr. Held) loves to buy stuff, especially books (of which they have thousands) and CDs and loves to cook, bake and eat. Electrical engineer Andrei loves to sit comfortably, smoke his pipe and drink his espresso, next to a fishing rod, if possible. They both love to work around the house. They invest in their home, we spend on holidays.
I love the hardworking, honest Helds with all my heart. They can't forget we brought them home when arriving to Israel, hosted them for a couple of days in our tiny apartment and accompanied them to the absorption center in Karmiel, where they started their new Israeli life. Years later, we included them in our will as the custodians of our kids, should anything bad happen to us.

So here we are, invited at the Helds, who live in a spacious cottage in the North. No special occasion, just a simple get-together-talk-and-eat. Belle, the resident labrador, moves among us, friendly and hunting for attention. The time we spend together is always pleasant. We talk about Zoe's hard work at the Sick Fund, Andrei's new boss at the Electrical Company and about common friends and acquaintances. The food is always great as Zoe is an excellent cook (and so is Ronit). After lunch, Zoe and I take Belle for a walk and have a short girls' talk on the way, while the 'boys' discuss the latest fishing gear and plans.

A few days before the meeting, the Held parents were busy arranging their daughters in new places as the twins will soon start studying medicine in Jerusalem (Ronit) and business administration in Herzliya (Tali). I know them since they were born, but now for the first time, I look at them as young adults. Lighthearted Tali and serious Ronit are ready to start a new and exciting chapter in their lives, filled with dreams, difficulties, studies, fun, friendships, insights and disappointments. They still need us, parents, but much less than before. They want to prove to themselves they can be independent, even if not completely, for the time being. Will they return home after graduation? Doubtfully. The Held parents will have to adapt their routine and travel a lot more to visit the girls.

I leave full of thoughts about what all this means for me, wondering whether we are still relevant, whether the youngsters taking their first steps will better the world we will bearly understand.

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