Only the Hitchhikers among us will know what the title is about, but that's OK.
I thought of two more things on my aliya list. And since 18 is a good number, and 16 is meh, here are two more:
17. Sickies. How could I have forgotten this one? I admit I had heard about the "cholim chadashim" syndrome, and had definitely registered other people saying "you and your kids will be sick a lot the first year." So maybe it should not have come entirely as a surprise when we went nearly six months with at least someone, and often more than one someone, sick every. single. week. As in, home from school sick. Avtalyon has had four eardrum ruptures since we've been here. (Yes, he is now down for tubes, but the approval and scheduling take time.) There have been too many colds to count, along with stomach viruses, strep, an attack of mystery insects that Iyyar's ganenet was convinced was chicken pox, an infected hand, a MRSA-infected infected foot, more stomach viruses, pinworms, lice, boils, frogs, and... oh you get the picture. Lots of sick. LOTS. For some reason, this caught me off guard.
I think we may have gotten hit unusually hard because of having three boys in three different schools/ganim; lots of bugs to pick up and pass around. Also, the rain came late this year and I'm told that wreaked a lot of health havoc on its own. Still. You have been warned. It won't necessarily happen to you, and I hope it won't, but it might.
18. And last! (For now anyway.) There are many ways in which making aliya is like mothering a child. For example, you can't do it perfectly, you will lie awake nights worrying that you're doing it wrong, and somehow, everyone you meet knows how you're doing it wrong and will tell you so. For example, I have lost count of the people who have told me that I MUST DO ULPAN RIGHT NOW. Five hours a day, five days a week, for five months. Must! Or our klita is doomed! No time, you say? Well you must MAKE the time! (That is a direct quote. As if I have not been daydreaming for years about magically finding another seven hours in every day, the way people in Manhattan dream about finding whole extra rooms in their apartments.)
Barak's rebbe? He wants us to only speak Hebrew at home. (He is serious.) I've been told by other mothers that my insistence that my child ride in a booster seat is ridiculous, and I should let him take the bus to school by himself. Aged six. Crossing an intersection that is eight lanes of traffic crossing six lanes of traffic, with several islands and a light rail line in the middle. I've been told that we must buy a car, no matter what, and not to do so is an act of irresponsible parenting. I could go on and on and on. I won't.
What it boils down to is the same thing I tell myself as a mother. Nobody else knows my situation like I do. Nobody else knows my children like I do. I can and should listen politely to other people, because maybe they'll tell me something I don't know. Maybe it'll be useful. Maybe not. Ultimately, you take the advice that works for you and leave what doesn't. So I hope some of this whole long screed will come in handy for you, and if it doesn't--well, feel free to ignore. : )