"Bring your daughter over so that I can fit the shoes on her before making adjustments," the shoemaker in Modiin Illit told me.
I can't, I told him. No, I don't live far away, only 15 minutes' drive, but I can't bring her.
"Fifteen minutes from here and the girl can't come? Why the tears, did something happen to her?" He looked at me with a sincere and well-intentioned gaze, and I collapsed on a stool.
Only 15 minutes, but that's a distance you don't travel with your child in a car if you don't have to. You do not endanger a two-year-old for a pair of shoes.
When my kids wander away from me on our Shabbat hikes I yell at them to stay close. "Why, mom?" they ask, and I make up that there are "wild boars." I keep them away from terrorists even in language.
There are huge packs of wild boars here; one must be careful. What will I tell them about stone throwers? You have to close the windows because the wind is cold?
When residents of southern Israel cried out that the country had abandoned them and left them with only their hands to cover the heads of their children from Qassam rockets, I agreed with them. My cries for help will come from a closed glass bubble.
We feel it every day. A sharp rise in the number of rock-throwing incidents, a dramatic escalation. That neighbor was hit by a rock, the other neighbor fell into an ambush. On Thursday there were rocks at an intersection near the house. A week ago there was an improvised road block made of boulders. You jump to attention at the sight of any shadows, slow down during turns, minimize trips. Clothes and shoes for the kids for the Passover holiday? Bought them without the kids, and now I keep going back to exchange them for the correct sizes.
In recent months so many have talked about "the price of the settlements." Price? Is there a price to pay for hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in fear? Or the family that was ruined on Thursday? The cost of settlements, Yair, is a price we have been paying for decades with our blood, bodies and emotional well-being. As well as the price of the media's insulting silence.
The narrow road to our house has become a tightrope stretched over a pit. One stone after the other are hurled with strength only hate can provide. Thrown on women, children, doctors returning from a shift.
All those attempts at murder are not reported. Not the rock that missed Dana's head by an inch, nor the one that almost hit Avner, not the stone that an angel must have caught seconds before it would have hit Naama. They are not reported because "there are no casualties." On Thursday a stone thrown by a man intent on killing did hit someone. Perhaps the angel blinked.