Tuesday night was the first night of Passover, and we hosted a Seder dinner here. The highlight for the girls (aside from singing the Four Questions)? Reuniting with their cousin Isaac.
And while Q and Avery were away on Saturday, Zoe and I spent much of our day (after a quick shopping expedition) preparing Passover food in the kitchen. Zoe was a great sous chef – gathering and measuring ingredients and prepping for each recipe. I couldn’t help but smile when she looked up from grating potatoes (not an easy task) and said to me, “Mommy, this is sooooo much fun. Seriously – I’m so glad I didn’t go to the baseball game.” And, later: “I never knew cooking could be so much fun!”
I think a new tradition has been made.
Q took Avery to the Giants game on Saturday. She had a lot of fun, Q reported, and had no problem watching all nine innings. And I had to laugh before they left, when she insisted on wearing a tulle skirt – not your normal baseball-watching attire – to the game. (Hey, at least it matched her new pink Giants shirt.)
I totally believe in signs from the universe. I received a rainbow-related one (which I’ll share here someday) a few weeks ago, and I was hit with another one just last night.
I was having a tough evening: It started with me not being able to find something I had just bought (a skirt for Avery) and ended with me ranting and raving to the girls about how messy the house was and how impossible it was to keep track of anything amidst all our clutter, etc. etc. Zoe, tired and grumpy herself, wound up in tears – and by the time I got her and Avery in bed I was feeling guilty and lousy. (And still irritated with the state of our house, which, admittedly, wasn’t even that messy.)
I flopped on the couch and grabbed my phone to read, and the very first thing sitting in my RSS Reader was a poem from a mommy blogger I follow – something she was posting, she wrote, ”to encourage those of you moms who are feeling weary right now.” Feeling weary indeed, I started reading:
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness not godliness.
If I scream at my children when they don’t follow instructions,
get frustrated and fault them for every mess in our house,
and have no grace and love
my children learn that Mom cares more about having things done exactly her way
than about listening to the needs and hearts of her children.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.
Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters, and markings,
But the greatest of all is the love
that permeates my relationships with my children.
So it’s a little dramatic and a lot mushy, but I’ll take it. It was a cosmic reminder, I think, of what really matters.
As mentioned below, one of Avery’s friends just turned four. Her birthday party was held over the weekend, and the two girls grabbed their big sisters and a whole bunch of balloons for a post-party pic.
At the grocery store the other day I told Q I was going to the frozen section. “I’ll go with you,” Avery called out and followed me. After I started looking at ice-cream, Avery suddenly stopped and said with disappointment, “Oh. I thought you were looking at Frozen movie stuff.”
Avery had the day off school on Friday, and the two of us joined a friend and her mom for a celebratory nail session. (It was the other little girl’s 4th birthday.) Avery had never been to the nail salon before (I missed taking her on her 4th), and she sat quietly and happily the whole way through. Just a few more months until Avery turns five and we can go again!
The other night the girls were helping me clean the house. Avery and I were in the bedroom when Zoe called out from the dining room, “Should I sweep?” And before we could answer: “There are a lot of crumbs – I think I will.” Avery smiled and looked up at me. “She’s a nice little girl,” she said.