Thursday, April 02, 2015

This time of year

I decided when my mother asked if we could come over for a last minute holiday dinner that we would host the second night of the holiday at our home. Just the parents and The Barren and myself.
It will be the first time I have done this and frankly, it is exciting and scary and a little sad.

I have spent the last two days planning the meal and making accommodations for food preferences and restrictions and flavors.
I spent a good portion of last night and today going from shop to shop looking for very specific foods and goods, and have found that we do not live in a neighborhood that caters to a wide variety of ethnic goods.
I have brought it all home and put it in the fridge, and checked off all the items of the lists I made.
I am now making a timeline so that I know what to make when and time it all so that I can sit and enjoy the meal with the parents, instead of what my mother usually does which is sit for 30 seconds and then jump up to start the next item....never really engaging in conversation or being present.
All these years I was asked to do the same, so by the time the last member at the table got their dish of food, I was up with my mother/grandmother and readying the next course.
Sitting only for a moment to eat cooled soup.

I am gonna do it different.
I am the next generation, the one that has witnessed this ritual for 40+ years and wondered why gather all these people if you can't sit and talk with them.
I am not adhering to the strictest of the laws, or making sure EVERYTHING is specially made for the holiday. Instead I am making everything from scratch, with love and care and thought.
I think that is the most important part.

While I prepare for this meal and evening, I think about my grandparents and the grandparents before them, I think about the children that are not here to talk to about the holiday and 
why my we makes a big deal out of it. 
I think about how big the table of people use to be and how small it is now.
It is a strange sensation.
I am taking great pride in hosting this and carrying on a generations old tradition, yet, I am also
holding in secret, the sorrow in my heart for those that are not here.


Naomi said...

This post really moved me. I'm sorry for your losses, both past and future. This is indeed a nostalgic and evocative time of year. I hope your Seder went well.

Mali said...

Sending hugs. I'm reminded of the time I hosted Christmas Dinner with just us, my parents, and my in-laws. I was making some of my own traditions, and very happy about that, but also sad that there were not others to take those traditions on into their future.