Further thoughts on Pesach:
1. Have Pots, Will Tiyul
Our vacation lunch of potato chips + artik has taken on venerated status. The kids expect it, and do not consider the day to be a success until we've eaten both. On Thursday, for example, we visited Shvil HaTapuzim. After Yaakov showed off his mad golf skillz (he's perfected the Pick It Up and Drop It In move), we snacked on our chips and the oranges we picked, but the little artik store was so crowded we decided to leave and not buy our artiks there. The kids were distraght, but luckily the Random Park we ended up in in Netanyah had an artik stand as well. Phew. The universe has self-corrected!
We were happily sucking down our ice pops, when we got to see how the Other Half lives. The Half that brings actual Lunch. Two families sat down at the little picnic tables and began by covering them in plastic. Then, out came plates, cups, cutlery, and Lunch, aka Kitniot-palooza: Israeli salad, chummus, rice, falafel balls. All home-cooked in actual pots. Which they brought with them. To the park. I have to say, instead of feeling jealous of their sumptuous spread, I felt a little sorry for them. They're missing out on the True Meaning of the holiday. Of course, as I noted to Donny, what would us sorry Ashkenazim bring in our pots anyway? More boiled potatoes???
2. Real Israelis by Accident
Friday we had the opportunity to be Real Israelis, thanks to an IV hookup. (An infrequently used sentence, to be sure.) I had an ultrasound appointment scheduled, and we thought it would be fun to take the kids. So we all piled into the little room and they start the ultrasound. Here's a head, here's a stomach, here's a face, la-di-dah. I don't think the kids could tell the difference between head, stomach, and face, but hey, it's something on a TV screen, so they were enthralled. About halfway through, however, I started feeling nauseous and came close to passing out. Had this happened at home, I would be very surprised that we had our own ultrasound machine and sonographer in the living room. But also, I would simply close my eyes, let it pass, drink something, and go on with my life. However, the medical staff at Maccabi was not going to let this excitement just pass. So there was a mandatory IV hookup, plus a mandatory fetal monitor hookup. Meanwhile, Ariella is scared and Yaakov's just wondering when they're going to take the baby out, awready.
Since we had done no food shopping or any other preparation for Shabbat (for which we were hosting my sister Leezy and Co., plus my Aunt Gitte who is visiting from America), Donny left with the kids to do the food shopping.
Meanwhile, I was lying on my side, in a corner, and every few seconds the fetal monitor stopped working, causing the nurse to run over and use her highly sophisticated technique of banging on the damn thing as hard as she could to jump start it. Then, every so often, the doctor or nurse would remember me in my little corner and come to visit. "How are you feeling?" they would ask. I hoped that the right answer would earn me an early release. "Great! I am fine! Never better! Can I please go now???" But they were just interested in exchanging pleasantries, so they left me where I was, returning every so often to bang life into the poor monitor. Didn't they know I had shnitzel to make??????
Eventually, two and a half hours after the ordeal began, I was released. We took the kids to the Rock Park, (although since it wasn't an actual tiyul, we got away with only potato chips for lunch), came home, and at the early hour of 1:00 began preparing for Shabbat. When we were finally done - 5.5 hours of shnitzel-potato kugel-Pesach cholent-roasted vegetables-roast-making, sweeping mopping, room-arranging, bathing/showering - it was just in time for candle lighting.
"Do you realize," said Donny, "that this is what Real Israelis do??? Shop Friday morning, cook all afternoon, then finish just in time for candle lighting? No wonder they're always so tired!"
(Quick digression: This reminds me of my Thursday-before-Pesach food shopping experience at Rami Levi. I was basically finished food shopping, and was going just for produce and dairy. This was my third Pesach-related shopping trip. The previous Monday, the stores were empty. However, Thursday morning, most of the country woke up and said, "Hey! Wait a minute! It's going to be Pesach soon! I should buy stuff! Like chicken! And matza! And maybe some oil and eggs! Gee, maybe I'll even do that today!" And so me, with my carrots and bags of milk, had to wait in an endless line, behind people with bottomless carts. Also, the woman in front of me was buying bran flakes. Huh.)
Shabbos was very nice. Lots of cousin bonding (when Yaakov wasn't torturing Netanel) and sponge-cake eating. Sunday we hung out and started cleaning up from Pesach, because we were going to be with Donny's aunt and uncle in Kiryat Moshe for the last day. As the holiday ebbed away Monday afternoon, the kids participated in Final Matza-Fest 2010. We returned home, and as we packed away the last of our Pesach things and added to our "For Pesach 2011" list ("Remember that we put the cord for the hot water pot in the soup pot."), we bid a fond farewell to our favorite crunchy holiday. Till next year, Pesach.
Closing questions and observations from our resident theologian, Ariella
1. "So, Mommy, who tried to kill the Jews on Shavuot and Sukkot?"
2. "How come Hashem doesn't save the Jewish people now, when bad things happen to them?"