In which I fail to relive my youth
Took the kids to the beach an hour before dusk. They played and frolicked and move it around. Then I cracked open some glow sticks. Best mom ever ever ever. And Taxman was best dad ever because he threw them [ed. note: the GLOW STICKS] over and over and over. Kids came home coated in sand. Literally looked like they were battered and ready to be fried.
This was my attempt to introduce my kids to one of my favorite things as a kid–the beach after dark. It wasn’t as I remembered it: Israel vs. Delaware, other people and floodlights vs. endless darkness. I have such distinct memories from almost every August of the 1980s, choosing a clear night to pad along the chilly sand, clutching a chartreuse glow stick (the only color they came in), and climbing up the empty lifeguard chairs to listen to the surf.
Nevertheless, they had a good time. It is rare that they are disappointed by expectations. The privilege of being young, I guess.
In which Shavuot gets my goat
Shavuot was lovely. I was happy to serve salmon and eggplant parmesan and butter-based lemon bars. I am lucky to have a husband who eats almost everything (and a son who is willing to try almost anything).
There is some confusion as to why it is traditional to serve dairy on Shavuot; watch Gila break it down. But anyway, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were virtually exploding with people talking about cheesecake and butter. And also women–highly educated, gainfully employed, Orthodox women–talking about how Shavuot is the only holiday for which their husbands “let” them serve dairy instead of meat.
I understand that meat meals on holidays and Shabbat is the traditional way to go; people learn it from Talmud passages and centuries-old compendiums of Jewish law. And then I am very grateful that my husband “lets” me cook whatever I want. We have dairy meals whenever I feel like it. I am the cook, so, frankly, I decide. Sometimes I ask for opinions, and he usually opens with “whatever’s easiest for you,” then we come to an agreement. Unless he is too busy or stressed out to think about it and then he finds out on Friday what we’re having.
Now, I don’t serve cereal and peanut butter sandwiches–as tempting (and easy) as that would be. For Shabbat and holidays I do put in time and effort and we spend a little bit more (fresh fish is expensive! much more than chicken). We are not vegetarians, but chicken week in and week out forever and ever gets boring!
Anyway, it drives me a little crazy when there can’t be a little more give-and-take in a marriage. These women are capable of learning the halacha [law] themselves and coming to their own conclusions: if meat should be served, or if just special foods and/or wine will suffice. If husbands and wives disagree, take it to another party. Or…compromise. Or…share more of the cooking. Or…I don’t know. But in 2011 for women to clutch their hankerchiefs and sigh, “Oh, woe, my husband won’t let!” makes me crazy.
In which I am complete denial
School ends in 21 days. There is no camp, only America. The promised land of grandparents and friends and also no camp and many, many hours in the air and airports and cars and unstructured time. It could be great. Or it could be awful. No way to know. Stay tuned.