I went to pick up my grandbaby from the local Day Care Center today. Her sister and I lined up behind all the folks rushing in before the 3:40 PM (you'd better pick 'em up) deadline.
I noticed two of my friends collecting their grandchildren as well.
That was very cool. We each made some kind of comment, but what was going through our minds was actually, "Isn't this fantastic, to have this little bundle of nachas so close by that I can even pick her/him up from gan?!!"
Grandchildren are dividends that we've waited our whole lives for. And B"H, it was worth the wait.
And when they live nearby, our dividends really do boost the "local economy".
I'm so thrilled that two of my grandchildren live nearby, but I miss being an active part of the lives of the ones who live farther away. I barely get to see them once a week, and seriously, my heart aches for them. Unfortunately, their parents couldn't afford to live in my hometown of Efrat. Actually, they couldn't even afford to live in my region of Gush Etzion.
The area is just too expensive for young people. Well, real estate is at a premium here, isn't that good??
Um, no! It's not really good, because if young people cannot afford to move here, our communities will get old and eventually die out. A healthy neighborhood should have an area of affordable housing specifically so that the children of the community can move back to their hometown if they wish to.
So, aside from very few exceptions, my children and their friends are living far from Efrat. They're in the Southern Chevron Hills, the Binyamin Region and in the Shomron. One young couple recently moved to the Golan. When I asked them why they moved so far, they said, "It was one of the only places we could afford a lot of land to build a future home."
We might think we're clever, having a real estate market that commands top dollar for local homes, but one day we'll smarten up and come to understand that the best dividends for the local economy are young families and babies in the community, especially those of our own next generation.