My maternal grandfather was a strong presence in our home throughout my formative years. He lost most of his family in the Holocaust. His sister made it to Israel. He was able to flee with his wife and daughter — my mother — to safety in Havana, Cuba.
In my home, an act spurred by anti-Semitism anywhere in the world brought fear; if it happened somewhere, it could happen anywhere.
My friends had sleepovers, went to sleep-away camps, and enjoyed such away-from-home traditions. I did not. My mother’s fear — having seen children leave home and not return — compelled her to parent differently.