By Phyllis J. Lubin
“What’s for breakfast?”
“How about egg matzah and cream cheese?” Yussie seemed to enjoy this delicacy on the eve of the holiday.
“No. No more matzah!” my youngest son declared. Even he was sick of this yummy treat.
I searched the refrigerator for something non-Pesach-like and came to strawberry yogurt. That sounded neutral.
Phew, another potential problem averted. I didn’t want Yussie to be in a bad mood his first day back at school. This had been a long holiday. Yussie was ready to return to South Side Middle School—and I was ready for his return as well!
The holiday of freedom has passed. The associated paraphernalia is back in the attic. And there I sat, totally exhausted.
I love Passover: I love the feeling of a totally chametz-free, orderly house. I enjoy the creativity that the holiday garners. I especially savor the family time.
For the first days of the holiday, traditionally my folks move in for a few nights. This allows us to share our Seder table with them and gives us some quality time waking up to the smell of my Mom’s matzah-meal pancakes cooking on the stove.
Why was this Passover different from all other Passovers? A few days before yom tov, my dad fell and broke his shoulder. This put a damper on his feeling all that “free” for the holiday of freedom. Without the use of one arm, it has sadly made him more dependent on others. Fortunately, my folks were able to manage in our home, and I was thankful that we were able to assist a bit. The Pesach Seders just would not have been the same without my folks present!
The holiday progressed and we managed to get in a trip to Adventureland. There was a chill in the air on the Thursday of chol ha’moed. But the sun shone and we enjoyed our yearly Adventureland outing. Yussie and Rochel enjoyed their ten trips—at least—on the music ride. Rivka, Rochel, Yussie, and Lea enjoyed a number of trips on the swings. My eldest daughter joined the crew on a number of the tamer rides. I even joined in for a ride on the Adventureland train.
There is something special about eating our special Passover fare (potato sticks, matzah-meal pancakes, and the traditional juice boxes) on picnic tables, with our plastic tablecloth on hand to make the tables at the park a bit more Pessadik.
Shabbos rolled around. We put on our walking shoes to take a jaunt to Far Rockaway to share a meal with my in-laws. We ate enough to have energy to walk back as well. With all my added fortitude, I managed to take an extra shpatzier to check on my mom and dad in Woodmere. Although my food intake was high this holiday (it was a Weight Watchers–free holiday), my exercise on foot did not dwindle.
Sunday arrived and we were again preparing more food for yom tov. With my dad incapacitated and my mom as his right-hand woman (or in this case his left hand), I did the shopping for both my home and my folks’ abode. Not a problem for me, since I enjoy food shopping—especially checking out the final Pesach specials at the end of the holiday.
The last days were extra special, since my eldest son and daughter-in-law were with us. I had all my children under the same roof for a couple of days. Monday afternoon we feasted at the Davidson homestead in Woodmere. At the end of dessert, my dad had a special surprise for Yussie: my father peered into Yussie’s ear and out came a candy fish! Yussie’s joy gave my father much-needed spirit. For a brief moment, his shoulder pain took a back seat and my dad was able to sit up straight. With a strong voice, he announced that there were even more fish in Yosef’s ear. Yussie was thrilled. It brought back fond memories of my father finding similar candy fish in my ear! We all had a relaxed lunch at my folks’ home. With the sun shining, we enjoyed a leisurely walk home.
The final day of the holiday brought me and Yussie back to visit my parents. My dad managed, much to Yussie’s glee, to find a few more candy fish in his ear. After a yummy yom tov party filled with potato chips, juice, grapes, and, of course, candy fish, Yussie and I returned home to cook up our final matzah-meal pancakes, matzah brei, and matzah kugel for our last Passover meal.
And so Passover ended. I was exhausted but happy that we enjoyed yet another holiday with our family. May Hashem grant us many more happy holidays in the future, and may my dad have a speedy recovery! v
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children: Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea and now a new daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.