It’s weird. I feel like I just paused my life. For about 10 days I was busy busy busy but on pause. I’ll explain. Preparing for Passover is like preparing for a tornado. You are fearful that if you don’t buy everything you need all at once than half way through there will be nothing left, the shelves will be bare, and you’ll be left with 2 potatoes, an onion and a strawberry yogurt that NO ONE WANTS TO EAT! And heaven forbid you be without coconut macaroons or an extra box of matzoh ball mix! I made turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and broccoli and farfel (a Jewish-y food) and soup and homemade ice cream (vanilla AND strawberry) and sponge cakes and meringues and matzoh balls and meat balls and mashed potatoes and spinach kugel (more Jewish-y food) and corned beef and stir fry and all the special Seder night foods and passover rolls and and and….yes there was more.
Even though my regular schedule was disrupted it was non-stop planning, prepping and cooking, and cleaning up and repeating said process day after day. I was tired. I worked hard, but it was worth it. There was great food, good company and successful day trips with the wee ones. It was by far my best holiday yet.
However, back to our regularly scheduled program…returning to work and finding over 300 emails that needed weeding – ugh – not fun. About 1/2 of them were spammy stuff and coupons about clothes I can’t afford and like to look at but would never buy (Marc Jacobs/ Christian Dior/ Coco Chanel) and recipes, recipes, recipes. I signed up once on a site where they deliver me a recipe a day – well that kind of took over my inbox…note to self, stop acting like an idiot. I was so busy at work also preparing for an event tomorrow that the day flew by, but I never stopped for a minute until the end of the day even for a bathroom break! TMI? Sorry.
Later this evening while helping my daughter look for pictures of her grandparents on the computer for this never-ending project her lovely teacher assigned, I found some old videos of when my first 4 kids were really small. My smile was huge. Soon all the kids were around me as we watched all the cute and funny things they did and said.
The most memorable for me were a few in a series my then 8-year-old son had me film. He was basically telling chapters of an imagination story that included a dragon, a prince and a king, naturally. He was so articulate and animated and his voice was a little raspy and he was very serious and even warned the viewers to pay attention because there would be follow-up questions. All his life this is something I can point to and say “he is so into this stuff”. Even now my younger son is all about the sword fighting and the plot of good vs evil and slaying the dragon. My older son loves books by Rick Riordan and T.A. Barron, watching movies like Star Wars and Harry Potter, all where the characters are heroes because they were able to overcome some form of evil (albeit with a little help from magic and wizardry). The boys even on occasion have begun to fake joust and tumble until one becomes the victor.
So after all this, at a late hour, typically when my brain is alert and, I missed my tired window darn it, I am struggling with a need to inspire – thinking there must be something I can encourage my son to be more than a fake jouster. He is getting to the age where that stuff becomes babyish and he is starting to get into girls and sports and other manly activities like taking out the garbage and checking out his barely there mustache. I want him to hold on to the image of the heroes like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and Luke Skywalker but without all the wizardry and magic and dragons and Greek Mythology and Millennium Falcons and light sabers (I’m holding, so what?). So I did a little research on one of his favorite authors, T. A. Barron. I found a really great looking book with a positive message about REAL LIFE KIDS doing cool stuff that he wrote. The book is called The Hero’s Trail. I wanted to redefine his image of what a hero really is and bingo! There it was. Some stories are about famous people like Stephen Hawking and Anne Frank but then there are other ones about ordinary kids doing amazing things – that’s the message I want him to walk away with. One day maybe he’ll be a hero. Before I know it he’ll be enlisted in the Israeli Army and my man-boy will be all grown with real facial hair and I hope to remember the little kid who created his own stories of heroism and fighting dragons.
Being reflective after this wonderful 10-days on pause that was solely dedicated to food and family I am teary-eyed at the possibilities and the future adventures of my little guys. I am emotional and probably should stop this dear diary moment but I can’t. I don’t want it to end, this feeling of mommydom. I snuck a peek at them sleeping, all warm and fuzzy in their beds and I want to imprint that image in my mind. I know right now I am their hero, well, who else is gonna’ provide them with clean underwear? Or tuck them in and read them stories and give bunny kisses and hold them when they cry? Yeah ok, sometimes daddy does that too, I can share the cape. At the end of the day, I just want what’s best for them, just like every other parent wants for their kids. To have fond memories of growing up, to know that money wasn’t the most important thing, that I loved them unconditionally even when I was angry at the ameoba-man drawn on his arms, and my walls, and on his bed linens, and oh, I can go on but I won’t. Well, at least not today.