We knew when we started to plan our aliyah that our then 9 month old daughter wouldn't even notice, but for our five (going on 40) year old son, things would be "noticeably different" to say the least. Nathan is a smart boy (as any Jewish mother would think of their kids) and very mature. He has no problem making new friends, and because we decided that regardless of how scared or freaked out we would get about the big move, that we would put everything on a positive light and show excitement about the new things to come, he took the move amazingly well. Of course he was sad about leaving his friends and family in America and seeing his room empty, but he was happy to make aliyah.
They say kids adapt quickly, much more so than adults do and I now have no doubt about it.
After only two short weeks of having made aliyah, it was Nathan's 6th birthday. We had celebrated it big in Miami before we left because he had asked to celebrate with all his friends, and as a parent, full of guilt for moving your kid across the globe, who were we to say no. Nevertheless, a birthday should no go unnoticed and because I had figured he wouldn't have any fiends yet after only two weeks in a new country (and one week on school), I had planned to go to dinner just the four of us. Well, as it turns out, two days before his birthday, he says he wants to spend it with his new friends. 15 kids came to Nathan's 6th birthday party! he had more friends after only two weeks in Israel than I ever did in Miami!
We are here now five months and every week I'l get calls from three to four class mothers wanting to set up playdates with Nathan, not to mention our neighbor who practically lives with us.
The kid is popular ok, he has no barrier with the language and he has had no issues adapting to the life in Israel. Today however, I realized we are starting to raise an Israeli. Our next door neighbor was at our house as we were getting ready to leave for a chug (extracurricular activity) and as we are heading out the door, her and Nathan exchange some kind of understanding about her taking one of Nathan's toys. As I witness this, I figure she is taking my son for a ride (she is two years older than him and after all, Israeli) and I say "why would you give away your toys? they are yours!" and he turns to me and says "No mom, I didn't give it away, I sold it to her!"