Thursday, April 21, 2005

Dreams and Reality

The dream
In my dream seder, both my children, their life-partners and their children, arrive at my home, which has magically enlarged itself to accommodate them all, and my dog has magically transformed herself into a guaranteed-non-allergenic, looks-like-a-cat, housepet the size of a small turtle, two or three days ahead of Seder night. We have a family powwow regarding the construction of the seder menu, given the various persuasians of vegetarianism and traditionalism that prevail among us. The result is a shopping-and-cooking battle plan that goes into effect the next day, following instant absence of jet lag. My function in this assembly is purely matriarchal: baby-minding The Little Bear with the aid of my older granddaughter, Mermaid Girl, assisting in tour-guiding through the labyrinthine grocery store, coordinating various snacks and pre-Meal meals, and answering ponderous questions such as "where is the spatula?" and "do we have enough Haggadot?"

The Seder itself is a combination of Israeli and modern emancipated American rituals, enlivened by guest children slightly older than MG, so that she is the youngest and therefore entitled to the honor of asking the Four Questions, which she does with great charm and self-possession, but also modesty. Discussions of the meanings of the story are stimulating and many new insights are offered by various participants. The singing of songs is enthusiastic, and everyone, including me, knows all the words in Hebrew, and all the melodies. (This is my dream, don't forget.)

The food is plentiful and delicious, of course, and the many cups of wine, including additional ones for the many new Politically Correct Causes that have arisen over time, increase the sound level and the general jollity. By the end of the evening, a magical joy has enveloped the party, guests leave reluctantly, and everyone remaining wants to put the children, who have fallen asleep quietly wherever they were, properly to bed and clean up the kitchen together.

The reality
My friend Miriam and I and my dog take the train to Zichron Yakov, where the newly-divorced brother of Pippy Bluestocking awaits us, with custody of his two daughters and a vast shopping list. We proceed to shop, clean and cook for two days, allowing occasional interruptions for sleep, until the Seder, while Miriam's and my children and grandchildren, all in the USA, attend seder meals at their respective homes or at the homes of other relatives. If we're lucky, the Zichron sisters won't fight too much.


Noorster said...

My dream seder has a similar vibe.
In reality I'll be at a community seder with over nearly a hundred guests and an over-enthusiastic young rabbi who insists on doing the whole thing in Hebrew. He also stutters a little, and gives you a disapproving look if you show up wearing trousers.
I secretly wish I got knocked out by some mysterious illness that lasts until Monday morning - so I could stay at home and watch goyische programming on TV.

Udge said...

The dream sounds very nice, and I am sure that it will one day come to pass. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy the reality with good food, nice company and a measure of relaxation. Happy Passover (does one say that?)

Savtadotty said...

Noorster: I hope your seder was less dreadful than your expectations. Happily, mine was.

Udge: I'm not so sure, but meanwhile it was fun. Yes, one certainly does say Happy Passover. Even all week long!

That Girl said...

I hope next year you can have your family at Seder with you. Just remember though that the holidays we remember are not the ones where everything went right and somewhat perfectly.

The ones we remember and laugh about are the ones where the kids sang all the wrong words and Aunt Mary got a little tipsy and loud or when we dropped the roast on the floor.