Israeli helicopter parents send instructions

July 14, 2019 by Gidon Ben-Zvi
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Dear Sheila,

How’s Melbourne? The girls can’t wait to spend a whole two weeks with you. I receive daily updates about all they’ll be seeing and doing during their upcoming August adventure.

Gidon Ben-Zvi

Danielle and I look forward to our daughters returning to Israel with Aussie accents and attitudes. Jerusalem is such a mad, mad mix of people, languages and backgrounds.

Two little girls jabbering about ‘The Saints’, ‘KitKat’ (instead of ‘KifKef’) and ‘trams’ will add a bit more spice to the city’s delightful stew of sounds. Am Yisrael Chai!

We haven’t spoken since the last time you visited. So, I’d like to properly prepare you for Dina’s and Dalya’s arrival. They’re growing into such strong, confident young ladies. But like any finely tuned machine, they require constant care.

Don’t get me wrong: I have total confidence in your ability to look after our girls. Still, Dina will be entering second grade in the fall and Dalya the first grade. Our family therapist says that these are the crucial years in a child’s development. Danielle and I have invested so much time on coaches, counsellors, rabbis and dieticians. Don’t you think it would be a shame if all our, I mean our girls’, hard work was flushed down the drain by the time they flew back to Ben Gurion from Tullamarine?

With that in mind, I’d like to kindly but firmly suggest that:

One: Danielle and I are so proud that our six-year-old princess has decided to go off bread. She’s been on the keto diet for six months and is brimming with energy. Since shifting to the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) in particular, Dina has even managed to sleep more quickly. Do you know any other first grader who only needs three hours of shut-eye? She’s an inspiration. But to make sure that Dina doesn’t fall back into a high carb lifestyle, I’ll be sending you a link to her daily CKD nutritional requirements in my follow up to this email.

Dos: We, unfortunately, won’t be able to complete the screening process of your apartment building’s 45 residents. Instead of cancelling the trip, I think it makes sense to install a few pinhole spy cameras around your apartment, inside your building’s two elevators, the lobby and on the two roof top fire extinguishers.Even though we won’t be around every second of every day, these fun little gizmos will make it feel like we are. Hugs!

Thirdish: Dalya must not be woken up before 12:00 pm. The holistic rabbi Danielle and I have been consulting with believes that Ray-Ray’s recent rash of pilfering paper and paints from her classroom  (she’s such a scamp!) is being caused by teachers who aren’t encouraging her creativity AND us having to wake her up every single day before noon. Poor thing. I’ve Whattsapped the school principal about modifying the class curriculum and hours of operation to accommodate Dalya’s unique needs. I’ll keep you posted.

The Fourth: Shower time can be the most wonderful time of the day. But both girls have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis and need to be handled with special care. Sweet Sheila, if you only knew how harsh the desert air can be on delicate skin. To prevent any more nasty flare-ups, we no longer use harsh soaps, detergents and other irritants. Danielle heard about an amazing ointment that makes those funky red patches on the hands, feet, ankles, neck and torso disappear. The cream is derived from the Vayambu plant. We order it online from a company based in Kerala, India. I’ll send you a link.

The Fifth: As you know, there’s a 9-hour time difference between Israel and Melbourne. So, it’ll take the girls about six days to get over their jet lag. Danielle and I are concerned, since Dina and Dalya are returning to Israel on August 27 and their first day of school is September 1. Would you be a dear and ask the flight attendants on the flight back to Israel to kindly dim the cabin’s interior lighting? We want to make sure that the girls are primed for a successful school year. Otherwise, they can kiss the student council goodbye.

That’s about it for now. It would be amazing if you could print, sign, notarize, scan and send me back this document within the next 24-hours…



P.S. I understand that you spent a week labradoodle sitting for a neighbour. You have such a big heart! But seriously, you do remember that Dina is violently allergic to doggie fur, right? Danielle and I spoke about it and we’d love to help pay to have your entire wardrobe dry cleaned. No thanks necessary…

Gidon Ben-Zvi is an accomplished writer who left behind Hollywood starlight for Jerusalem stone. After serving in an IDF infantry unit for two-and-a-half years, Gidon returned to the United States before settling in Israel, where he aspires to raise a brood of children who speak English fluently – with an Israeli accent. Ben-Zvi contributes to The Algemeiner, The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post , Truth Revolt, American Thinker and United with Israel.

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