crafty · education · family fun · Jewy goodness · Kids · The COVID files

Day 24: Spring has arrived, Pesach is coming!

Is it Day 24 already? I could swear it only feels like day 326,017! But you know, you lose all sense of time when you’re cooped up with your crazy family staying safe at home.

Today was fine. R and E are on Passover break now, so they don’t have three or four Zoom classes per day; N and K have just started online schooling, so they have some stuff to keep them busy; and the weather is getting nicer and nicer, so we’re able to spend more time outside.

N’s online schooling is a bit underwhelming so far (no judgment – they’re just starting up and we’re all learning together), so I’m giving him an assignment from me that I’m hoping will pique his interest: I’m having him listen to the Ragtime soundtrack and pick one favourite song. Then his job is to get online and do some research into the history or people behind what the song is discussing. He has so many things to choose from: baseball, Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, the labour movement, mass immigration from Russia, Admiral Perry, issues of race in the early 20th century, Henry Ford… wow. Now that I think of it, this could be an entire year’s curriculum. I hope he learns to love going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole as much as I do.

We’ve been working on our seder plate, but it’s not ready to be unveiled. It’s definitely an exercise in letting go: I wince every time the kids paint something less-than-perfectly, which is every time, and try to remind myself that it’s our seder plate, not my seder plate. I’ll try to post a pic of it tomorrow before Pesach begins.

Know what makes me smile these days? I took the denuded base of a Romaine lettuce heart and put it in a bowl of water on the windowsill. That was last week. A few days ago I thought I saw some bright green shoots, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. Now look who’s growing her own leaves:


Good thing I have a huge jar of Caesar salad dressing ready and waiting…

Speaking of vegetables: I finally got through to a local mom-and-pop grocery store that offers curbside pickup. The man who answered the phone told me to email him my list and he’d call when it was ready. “I’m really sorry,” he apologized, “but it probably won’t be ready until tomorrow afternoon… we’ve been really busy.” I guess the since his family owns a grocery store he hasn’t tried getting a pickup or delivery slot from any of the major supermarkets in town; if he had, he’d know that next day pickup is practically a unicorn. I assured him that tomorrow afternoon would be perfect timing.

(By the way, if you need to get a pickup or delivery slot with one of the major supermarkets, get online right at midnight: that’s when they open up new spots. Make sure to fill up your cart before, so you can book the time and put in your order immediately. Midnight is also the only time I’ve been able to get onto Canadian Tire’s website. You’re welcome.) 

Tonight the kids and I continued our tradition of watching Prince of Egypt before Pesach. It never gets old. I love the movie, the soundtrack… it moves me every time. Not only do I now feel ready for the holiday, I also have Ofra Haza’s voice in my head, which is a lovely background (if a bit heart-wrenching.)

But once again, I had kids asking questions and making comments throughout the movie. I really wanted to pause it and explain that when the movie sounds really quiet, it’s because they want you to feel the mood — which is hard to do when someone insists on talking in your ear! (hmph!)

I did get to hear some gems out of the mouth of N, though. This year he was paying attention to the God (and gods) aspect of the story. “See Eema? They said ‘God’, not ‘gods’, which shows you that they’re not Egyptians.” A bit later he pointed out a generally ignored upside of monotheism: “It’s way less complicated with just one god… you can spend less time praying and sacrificing and it’s just less confusing.”

He’s right, you know. Simplifying is less confusing. Our life is very simple right now: eat, sleep, work a little, play, rest, repeat. There’s nowhere we have to be and nobody we have to coordinate with. Don’t get me wrong, frustrations abound, but there are moments and hours and even days when, for me at least, this life is good. I hope that my readers have those moments too.



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