Lemon & mint cake (Limonana)
I consider myself a pretty closed person, my big sister got all the love for people there is and I was left with suspicion ;)
But by choosing a partner who is more closed than I am I doomed myself to turning away from the world.
Then he was gone. And the world opened again.
I can't count the amount of people who came into my life since the break up. Good, lovely, funny, warm people.
I always complained about people in Germany where we live as they always seemed rude, but after the break up everyone I went to talk to, even in official places, were so nice.
It continued by random people being extra nice, by a radiologist meeting me for an ultrasound, being so friendly and giving me a hug before I left her clinic (I was warned by my doctor that she is unfriendly). People are going an extra mile for me, people in the god damn social security office were so so nice - that's unusual!
There is a thing with queues in Israel, people are very scared someone will take their turn in the queue, will push them aside, in the post office people are constantly fighting about this... people see me with Ben and are letting me go before them!
After years of being in touch with my big brother just on and off he reached out to me and when I told him what happened it was the first time in 15 years that I saw my big brother in him, he was truly sorry and truly cared for me.
Friends from my past who I haven't been in touch with for years have suddenly decided to reach out again (not knowing what has happened). Wherever I go, wherever I turn - the world is smiling.
Maybe it has always smiled, but I was busy with other things, like being married.
And hear this, it's not just happening to me, it's happening to Alon as well. The boy who was shy like a snail hiding in his little house is now a different boy.
Let's start with that that since we are here he started to name his feelings - I am sad, I am happy, I am angry. It's the first time he could articulate a problem he had in kindergarten and work on it.
I park the car outside the kindergarten and he goes in all by himself, the same boy that in Germany needs 5 hugs and hand holding while he goes into his classroom.
He talks to people, he laughs, he tells people things, he is OPEN, that's a huge thing for him. For a parent who sees their child closed and shy, to suddenly see him so open and friendly is just amazing.
What is it that changed him?
Well, the culture here is different. It's not like the kindergarten in Germany is not nice, it is! And his kindergarten teachers are very nice as well, but that's it. It's all nice and not more.
People are nice, but they are not warm like in Israel and they are not short tempered like people in Israel. The "warmth" has two sides to it, but if we want to live in a family like society, a society that puts family before everything, there is a price for it, because warmth can become heat.
People in Israel have fire in them, for better and for worse, and I am happy to say this country has lit a fire in Alon as well.
If I let Alon and Ben grow up in Israel or I let them grow up in Germany they are going to grow up to be different people. Our environment shapes us so much and to be honest, making the decision right now of what kind of adults I want them to be is way too much responsibility for me.
Do I let them grow in a place where all is in order or in a place where fire rules? Do I let them grow in a cold society and hope they will grow to be alive passionate young people or I raise them in a place where they will be surrounded by openness and hope they will still learn and know boundaries and will know to use this fire as a drive and not to ruin?
As parents we make difficult decision every single day.
Sometimes the responsibility is hard to bare, even harder when we are one and not a couple anymore.
No matter where my children will grow up, one day they will be two handsome smart young men and I can only hope they will be open, friendly and loving to people around them, 'cause after all it will only make their lives easier, a whole lot different than their parents.
handful mint leaves, chopped
zest of 2 lemons
1 cup honey
200g butter, melted
100g sour cream
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together and add the wet ingredients to them. Mix well and pour into a greased loaf tin.
Bake for approx. 50 minutes.