I haven’t updated much, not because things are so boring, but rather because I don’t seem to have any writing in me. In its absence, I’ll just do a brain spill and let it be.
Passover was wonderful. Including the bits I was afraid would be hard. We went to Mississippi to be with my sister and her family. My parents were also there, and in fact it was they who provided our plane tickets. Beggars cannot be choosers, but it must be noted that my father has a peculiar style when it comes to making travel plans. On road trips, he always likes to take the scenic route, so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that he booked us to New Orleans. Riiiiiiight.
My wonderful brother and sister-in-law, who live in Baton Rouge, met us at the airport and reserved us adjoining hotel rooms the night we arrived. We hung out together in the hotel, had pizza, and after the children were asleep, we four adults were able to hang out and talk. The two of them thought of everything, having brought toys for the kids to play with and food for us to share for breakfast.
The next morning we drove to Hattiesburg to help with seder preparation. My sister is a phenomenal hostess (and mother and sister and friend and scholar and and and) who made a thoroughly delightful seder. The next day, we just hung out and took walks and played with the kids and ate the most divine leftovers.
Wednesday Bill, the boys, and I flew back to Boston, in time (well, almost) for me to attend rehearsal for my church job. So yeah, Holy Week and Passover kind of are intertwined, dag nab it. It can be a drag — especially this year, because my other sister wasn’t able to bring her family to Mississippi until the weekend, by which time we were already back in Boston.
Anyway it turned out to be lucky that I was back for the weekend, because the woman who was supposed to serve as Cantor for Holy Thursday and sing in the solo quartet for Good Friday developed laryngitis, and I ended up subbing for her on both occasions. It’s lucky I’m a good reader and fairly fearless (who knew?) because I had no rehearsal for the quartet stuff; just jumped in and did it. Musicianship- and adrenaline-wise it was fun, but the Passion is not a favorite text of mine. I found it very complicated to cope with anti-Semitism in the text — something I have never experienced at this job on the personal level, I hasten to add. I think I reacted this way because as soprano soloist I was singing as the voice of the Jewish crowd, and of course they are not depicted very kindly in this text. I just kept telling myself, “I’m doing this for my family because we need the income. This is not me.” The experience stayed with me, though.
I was exhausted by the end of Holy Week, but also glad to have been able to be of service (no pun) to my music director, of whom I think very highly.
Because Akiva goes to a Jewish school, he had the entire holiday of Passover off from school. I had been nervous about having him home all that time, but it turned out to be lovely. (How many times have you read that sentiment on my blog?) The three of us had nice times together, and Akiva was exceedingly helpful around the house. During the Holy Week marathon, I didn’t do much with them — trips to the library were as ambitious as I cared to be.
On Monday, we managed to fit in a play date with two of Akiva’s friends from school (twins), and then my dear friend Ben, who lives in St. Paul, came over for dinner. He had been in New York for a project and then made a side trip up to Boston for a few days. I love having friends come over to spend the afternoon and stay for dinner. Ben kept me company in the kitchen as I got dinner organized, then we took the kids to the park for a while. Nice normal stuff — just everyday life, really, but so much more fun when shared with a friend.
On Tuesday, I rented the discount pass from our local library and took the kids to the wonderful Discovery Museums in Acton. We brought a picnic lunch and the kids took turns choosing what we explored. At a few moments they got a little too rambunctious, but in the main, they were pretty terrific. Bill had to work late last night, so I was on for bedtime as well. I enjoyed the day with the fellas, but I was glad when they fell asleep.
Today, noses were re-introduced to grindstones all around. And stomachs were re-introduced to leavened products. Bread never tasted so good!