It’s no secret that family comes first in Israel, and that Israeli families are very close.
So close, in fact, that a quick, completely unscientific survey demonstrates that the majority of Israeli grandparents help out with the grandkids at least once a week – picking them up from preschool, feeding and bathing them and, in quite a few cases, even hosting them for a sleepover to give their tired parents a night off.
We thought that these sabim and savtot (grandpas and grandmas) had already reached the height of grandparenting perfection, but the war has proven otherwise.
With so many people called up for reserve duty, lots of families suddenly turned into one-parent households, and ones in which, for quite a few weeks, the children were stuck home from school.
Cue all the amazing grandparents who came to the rescue: minding little ones as parents worked, helping out with the grocery shopping, batch-cooking for dozens of people at a time (most Israeli families have at least three kids, and when these kids have three kids of their own, it all rather adds up), popping round in the evenings to give children a bath while their parents crash on the couch for half an hour, and so on and so forth.
But perhaps the most incredible service these grandparents keep on tirelessly giving is comfort. Comfort for their adult children, who, despite being adults and parents themselves, are safe in the knowledge that they are not alone, and that their mom and dad have their backs; and comfort for their grandchildren, who get to receive the extra care and attention so desperately needed in these difficult times.
Saba and Savta, thank you. We love you.