Friday, April 14, 2006

Over Over

Last night was Passover leftover dinner, or as I like to say "over-over" night. Religious holidays are always eclectic in our house: latkes on Christmas Eve, chalices hanging on the tree, windows instead of doors left open for the prophet (because one year our dog kept going in and out - I refused to give her the wine but we called her Elijah for a week.)

This year's Passover was one for the books. The mistakes in our seder are too numerous to mention. My Hebrew gets worse by the year, and the meal itself was not one of my finest efforts, but I found this to be a memorable Passover in spite of our failings and "over-over" was equally successful.

The preparation began when Little Man came home from Sunday school talking about Passover, proudly waving his "placemat" (a drawing of a Seder plate) and asking for haroset. By the time the observance came around we had told him "scary stories" about burning bushes, mean pharoahs, and frog plagues. He requested a dragon plague and I obliged, but let him know that it was our "special plague" and he agreed not to publicize it in Sunday school. Every morning he asked for Passover food.

Highlights of the meals included: a few words of Hebrew out of me that raised eyebrows and brought on giggles; both children simultaneously rolling their heads back and closing their eyes in mealtime bliss; and no cups spilling either night. But what made the Passover observance a true holiday in spite of mangled language skills and convoluted story-telling was that both children ended the meal in tears and had to be gently but firmly escorted to their beds, whereas "over-over" ended uneventfully. Parents of all religious definitions know that hysteria is the defining moment of a holy day.

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