It’s going off constantly! But I can’t seem to turn off the red alert app that tracks rockets headed into Israel. A sense of uneasiness comes over me even when it clearly shows most of the missiles are not close to Tel Aviv. I look around and people are going about their normal lives to the point I almost feel crazy having these nerves.
After the first night of going to the mamad (shelter) in our apartment several times, I woke up late, exhausted. I had a 10 am appointment, so I sent a message to make sure it would not be happening. The response was, “Of course, it’s still on!” Since I did not imagine that would be the case, it was already 9 and it was a 45 minutes away! I scrambled half awake to get dressed and headed out the door. It’s crazy to think I would be leaving the house for a drive so far away after spending a part of the night in shelter, but I took the lead from others who constantly live through this — life has to continue as normal. I was assured they would have a shelter and everything would be fine. It WAS fine and there were no incidents when I was away.
We had heard to expect rockets later that night. Some people said to expect the sirens to go off around 5 or 6. It was difficult to concentrate on anything leading up to that time. The girls school was cancelled so they were home and I knew at some point everyone needed to eat dinner. I tried to think of something to make, but my mind was not working with me. Jim was working from home and quickly suggested in the middle of his conference call we should order take out to make things easy. So that’s what I did as the 6:00 hour approached. No siren yet. That was good, right? 7:00 came and went…no siren! We finally sat down to eat about 7:30 and still no siren. We put Mika to bed after dinner knowing she would have to get up early. The school sent emails saying school would once again be cancelled, but they had set up zoom sessions for the kids. A counselor also had called me earlier in the day to check on how the girls were doing and offer any support. Summer had a friend here playing video games in the basement. They seemed to be un phased by the events of the last night and today.
Jim and I probably stayed up later than usual because we were expecting sirens to start blasting any minute forcing us into he shelter again. That did not happen. We finally went to bed with the rocket alert app set up on my phone. I woke up to my babysitter messaging me at 1 am asking if we were ok? I asked her why, but before I could finish typing I got another message from a friend asking the same. I quickly woke up Jim and screamed WE SLEPT THROUGH THE SIREN! About the same moment, Summer walked up the stairs holding her half asleep sister in her arms. She apparently heard the siren and the loud booms from her room in the basement.
We jumped up quickly to tell her to go back to the basement. My landlord had called me earlier that day to make sure we knew how to use the mamad.
He wanted to make sure because he said to expect more rockets and sirens in the upcoming days. He reassured me it was one of the safest places in Tel Aviv because it was new and on the ground floor. I specifically remember him saying, “If anything happens, I guarantee you will be 99% safe”. He also told us the basement of our apartment was just as secure as the mamad since it was below ground.
Jim and I had decided earlier that day to keep the kids downstairs sleeping. If we heard sirens, we would move to the basement instead of waking up the girls. It was time to head to the basement. One more siren went off before I fell back to sleep.