The Last Time I Cried On The Playground Was 1999 | Shorashim - Israel with Israelis

The Last Time I Cried On The Playground Was 1999

Kira Feldman

The last time I cried on the playground was 1999 in kindergarten. If memory serves me correctly, it was because of a broken heart. 

Today, we visited the JNF indoor playground in Sderot, a neighborhood that is near the Gaza Strip. This unique complex was designed to be a bomb shelter for children and their families. They have games and activities for kids to adults; basketball hoops, a ball pit, a computer room, and a rock wall that goes sideways . 

There is a mall in the middle of the complex. Originally, the plan was to put in a carousel for all of the children in the neighborhood. The carousel needs exactly 60 seconds to come to a safe and full stop. Today, there is no carousel in the playground because the residents of Sderot are only allotted 15 seconds to find adequate shelter in case of a missile strike. 

The rock wall goes sideways, and is not higher than 5 feet off of the ground. This was intentionally built for the same reason- it would take longer than 15 seconds to come down from high up in the air and seek shelter. 

I am a teacher at home, and my students ages range from 3 to 13 years old. Like the children I played with in the playground today, their noses are runny, they sometimes fall but always get right back up, they have beautiful, infectious laughs that warm every part of our soul, and they believe that the world around them is good. 

The last time I cried in a playground was today. I cried of a broken heart.