As we left megillah reading last night and headed to the car for the shul's "shuk Purim" being held at Ariella's school, she said to me, "Mommy, it's REAL Purim now!" Finally, after two weeks of costume-buying, dressing up at school, making oznei haman, and preparing our mishloach manot, Real Purim had finally arrived!
(PS Mishlaoch Manot Addendum: Remember how I said that Yaakov's gan ensured that there would be no Prince and Pauper of mishloach manot? Well, despite their specific instructions, it was still possible. I won't mention any names, but someone's parents had nothing to tie the cellophane with, so clipped it using a close-pin - so called because I use it to close bags of food - and sent it to gan. Where it was indeed the pauper among the beautifully wrapped and tied bags, complete with laminated Purim cards and big fancy bows. Oh well.)
Shabbat this year felt like Shmini Atzeret of yore. You know, back in chutz l'aretz, where Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are a two-day yontov, and SA is, at least for a kid, a frankly boring day where all you're doing is counting down for the real fun of Simchat Torah. And having to take a nap because "you won't be able to stay up later!" So Shabbat had a similar feel. We went from the excitement of Friday - costumes at school! baking with Daddy! - to a very mellow, face-paint-less day. And yes, we did make everyone take naps so they would be able to stay up later.
(Of course, I normally spend my Shabbat afternoons alternately dozing on the couch and then suddenly bolting up, terrified the children have fallen asleep somwehere and will be terrors when it comes to bedtime later. So this Shabbat, when I wanted them to sleep, they were naturally playing very nicely until 2:00, when I stumbled out of bed and marched them directly into the only place where they would fall asleep - my bed.)
We actually made to shul for "First Zachor," despite the threatening skies and stayed relatively dry both there and back. Our shul had planned to have another zachor reading - next week - how cool is that! - due to the inclement weather. But Ariella, parroting me very well, said, "If we don't go to shul now, we'll be stuck in the house all day." So off we went, Zachor-ed it up, and then stayed for the rest of davening.
(Bragging mother note: Ariella followed inside for the entire haftorah, then asked me, "Mommy was Agag good or bad?" (Bad.) "So how come Shmuel or Shaul said to bring him to me?" Haha! She read the haftorah on her own - and understood it!)
After Shabbat, the frenzy began - the costumes were donned (again), make-up applied (Ariella picked purple lipstick and blue eyeshadow; Yaakov insisted, like all real fireman, on having a butterfly painted on his face. In blue and green, because those are colors for "banim." Nothing like a manly butterfly.)
We went to shul and Donny did the layning - it's one of the few times since Ariella was born that I got to hear him layn, aside from the practicing. Unlike last year, no one said - at least too loudly - "What language IS that?" He did a great job, and the children - Warning! Bragging ahead - were pretty awesome. Ariella followed along with me. Well, she asked me about every third pasuk "Where are we?" but she did follow and eagerly shook her gragger at every Haman. Yaakov brought his megillah, but it had all of 5 words, so he sat on my lap and sucked his lollipop (which lasted through perek zayin), then his thumb (until tet), then munched on animal crackers (the end!)
We finally ended up at the shuk Purim, where Ariella won some fabulous prizes, Yaakov ran in circles, and they both had some delicious Purim hot dogs.
Are you tired yet????? It's good you took that nap!
Today we continue the fun with mishloach-manot delivery, followed by Breakfast Seudah with Nafi and Lisa, who are very Busy Being Fabulous but able to stop by and eat bagels with us, followed by Dinner Seudah (or Mishteh, as Yaakov calls it) with the Sassoons in Maaleh Adumim.
Now are you tired????
Happy Purim to all of our Readers, both Loyal and otherwise. May your day be filled with happiness and light, and not with poppy-filled hamantashen.