Monday, April 20, 2009

A Little Recap And Rehash


Whew, Passover has finally passed over. (corny, I know)

It was actually only an eight day long holiday. However, because it began on a Wednesday night and ended the following week on a Thursday night, of course the intense preparations going on the weekend before it began and the clean up going on the weekend after it ended made it feel like two whole weeks of Passover "delight".

But my children have officially returned to school today after two weeks off and today marks the first Monday in two weeks that will be followed by a complete week of routine and order (like my household ever follows routine and order...).

So now I can focus on mundane life and some more nesting and hopefully this child that is resting very noticeably between my liver and my spleen will begin to migrate south very very soon.

And now I give you some Passover Recap -

(which may go on the next few posts)

Wednesday was hectic in my house. Hun took the girls out early in the morning to say a special blessing on the sun, because once every 28 years the sun is in the exact location it was at creation, and Wednesday this year just before the arrival of Passover was that day.

He also took them to a local school where there was a community burning of "Chametz" overseen by the local fire department.

(Chametz is the leavened bread and many foods included in the category of leavened bread that is not permitted in our home over Passover)

The night before Passover is to begin, after spending weeks doing a more intense search of Chametz throughout our home, and getting rid of it, we actually have a custom to deliberately place ten pieces of bread around the home, say a special blessing and then search and collect them to be burned the following day. This signifies that the "searching" and "ridding" aspect of Chametz from our home has been completed.

Confusing - I know. Why would you spend weeks getting rid of leavened bread from your home only to deliberately place it around the house the night before Passover is to begin??? But that is what we Jews do. We follow very specific customs (as bizarre as they may seem) year after year after year.

So the girls got to watch the burning of the Chametz and I finished up some last minute Chametz clean up before 10:18 am to be exact on Wednesday morning. And then when the girls came home, I put them along with Ate in front of the TV with a DVD playing because, pretty much the rest of my day dictated that I ignore and neglect them. (Don't call Children's Services, they were fed here and there and no one got hurt).

After making my homemade applesauce the night before, I spent the day baking some other goodies to have around for snacking, I had to break up some "fights" here and there, I was doing some cleaning and clothing preparations for the kids, there were showers and baths to be had... and my feet and back were in pain by the time sundown beckoned the start of passover.

Passover does not even begin until after 7 pm and we do not even sit down to start our "Seder" until after 8 pm. I had my kids nap, so they would be sane, but I knew that So, while in her room for a couple of hours, never actually fell asleep.

The first "Seder" (the meal that consists of telling over the story of Exodus from Egypt after enslavement, including four cups of wine, Matzah {unleavened bread} and other symbolic foods) was at my parents home with about 30 people total. It did not end until after 2 in the morning and we did not get home until 3 am.

Because we do not operate vehicles on Passover, we walked home (about 10-15 minute walk). Ate and Ro got stroller privileges because of the late hour, but So is way too big for strollers and had to walk. Might I remind you that she was the only one who did not nap. She began to have a melt-down and cried that she was tired and could not walk.

So I told her that the cool air would wake her a bit and that crying was pointless because it would not get her home any quicker.

She cried until we got to about three blocks from our home and then made this observation -

"Mommy, we are almost home!! That didn't even feel like such a long walk. See Mommy, the crying did help because it made me feel like I got home quicker."

Apparently six and 1/2 year olds do know better than Mommies.

We all woke rather late that morning and only Hun made it to Synagogue. Now we were trekking back to my parents for lunch. Lunch ended about 4 pm and we returned home at which point, EVERYONE took a nap (even So). By the time we awoke, it was time to get ready for the second Seder at MIL's house. (Yes - we do it twice, it's almost Barbaric.)

She lives a bit closer to us, and there were much less people at this Seder, however, we still did not get home until close to 3 am.

And the following morning we all awoke late - it was off to lunch at MIL's house and we came home and napped because Passover was going right into Sabbath (which is like a mini-holiday every weekend anyway).

We ate Sabbath dinner at MIL's house, which does not drag on like a Seder, so we actually made it home by 12 am.

Sleep - wake late, off to my mom's house for lunch with over 30 people again.

I feel like I should just say -

wash... rinse... repeat... wash ... rinse... repeat...

only it is -

eat... sleep... repeat... eat... sleep... repeat...

It seems like it's vacation, but it is actually exhausting.

After lunch Saturday, we stayed late at my Mom's house so the cousins and siblings could hang. We played "apples to apples" and... well... hung.

Saturday night ended the Sabbath and the first days of Passover and brought us into the intermediary days of Passover which I will explain tomorrow.

It was so nice to spend that time with family. And as exhausting as it was, my stress level was so diminished because we were hosted at the meals rather than hosting the meals. There were so many able bodied nieces and nephews and relatives around that I did not need to get up and do a thing, and that is really what I needed at this point in time. Even So and Ro were big helps, setting tables for 30 people and playing nicely with hardly seen cousins. However, Ate did keep me on my toes a bit, but I will include all that in the next post.

I hope to G-d all this talk about Passover is not boring my readers to death. I know I have some readers who know all about Passover and celebrate it themselves, but I also know that I have some readers who may not be familiar with the holiday. However the next post or two will include other aspects of the holiday, such as trips we took and my own personal family tradition that includes a sad family story.

So I do hope y'all come back.

6 have shown Orah a little love: said...

Stopped by for a moment.Great to see you bac. Will come back very soon and take in all of the details ")

Anonymous said...

Of course, we'll come back.........YAWN.......just joshin! Your interesting stories and holiday tidbits always keep us interested. Although your rehashing of Pesach was starting to give me the willies, I mean, G-d it was a looooooong holiday!
And I soooo don't feel bad saying that either. Hmmmmmm, at least for the next major holiday comin up (Shavuos), you'll have ohhh so many more interesting things to tell us.....that and the yummy cheescake!!
- Miss. S.

Candice said...

You sound like you need a vacation. I'm exhausted for you. ;) said...

I LOVE reading of your traditions!

You littlr So cracks me up.

Looking forward to hearing more.

Thanks for the kind comments, they are more encouragement than you can even know.


Donna said...

Glad you're back missed you while you were gone. I'll check back soon. Hope baby isn't wearing you out too much.

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

I find your Passover stories very interesting. I know very little of the Jewish faith and am always intrigued when I hear or read about it. I hope it's not insulting but I used to love the "All Of A Kind Family" books when I was young. I just introduced my 9 year old to them this year and now she likes them too.