Well, as Pesach is getting close to being finished, I have decided that I actually have time to sit down and write, though my luck the boys will come in from outside or the little one will get up from his nap before I can get very far.
“Ma nishtana hashanah hazeh mikol hashanos” (Why is this year different from other years)?
For some reason this year was very different with all preparations than any in the past. When the boys were younger, I was the soul teacher, and it was easy to take a morning or afternoon and we would all head to one room in the house, tear it apart and clean it. The next day, or the day after, the same thing would happen to another part of the house, until it was all done. I do not remember what happened last year, but this year it was a little different. Firstly, last year I made a mistake – I started in the bedrooms and then worked my way to the basement, (leaving the kitchen for last.) It was a mistake for by the time we did the search for all the chometz, my dear husband was very upset for the rooms had been lived in again and there was absolutely no way we did any cleaning! (I think I vaguely remember after him yelling at me for the umpteenth time, telling him that next year he could do the cleaning…..)
So, this year I vowed not to let that happen again. I decided to start with the least used room, and work up to the most used (messiest) room in the house, and then the kitchen. There was only one problem – now that my boys did set classes online with their Rebbe, how was I going to grab their help for any length of time to clean? We ended up doing a room on a Sunday, and then on a non-school weekday (a Friday – yes, we only do a 4 day “schedule” – more on that in a later post, G-d willing) tackling the basement. We are lucky, there is not much in the basement (on purpose), and it was just cleaned a week or so before for our company that came over. The rest of the house I did the week before Pesach.
Why did I leave it so late? Well, other than just not wanting to drive myself crazy and work in the evenings and get to sleep late, I prefer to take the easy way out. Both cellars were closed off, as well as the garage, a few of the closets and the pantry. I also take the easy way out and make simple meals. I have a nice recipe I use for a whole turkey – I can make a soup, roast turkey, and shnitzel, in less than 2 hours. That is about 4 meals worth of main dishes.
My husband took all the boys to the zoo (2 hours away!) for the day, and that let me clean our room, as well as all the laundry. I won’t mention the bedroom took 4 hours (ouch!) As our room gets to be the “storage” room on a regular basis, it was so nice to get it back again!
I did not teach the week before Pesach, however, the boys attended their online classes. We enjoyed our seders. The boys look forward to jumping frogs, hail landing in their grape juice, and the largest locusts seen. And, while the rest of the parents are taking their children all over town this week, I am taking yet another week off of school and hiding in my room, letting the boys read, run outside, go to the library, and try to fly a kite. Sometimes I feel like a “bad” parent – but then again, I remember I spend quality time with my boys the entire year, and do not have to try to cram it all in to a few days at a time several times a year. It was not all so bad, they did have a bochor who came over for one afternoon and spent several hours with them teaching them different things, as well as another playdate for my youngest the next day.
We are also a one car family, and the weather the last few days has been weird, and I have been letting my husband take the van instead of riding to work on the scooter in the rain. And now, it is nice and sunny, no hail, no rain, and we do not have a car to go to the (local) zoo. Perhaps tomorrow 🙂 And yes, I know tomorrow is erev Yom Tov again, but there is plenty of time to cook and go to the zoo and take showers!
So, for those that read this during Pesach – I wish all of you a wonderful rest of the Yom Tov, and for those that read this afterwards, hope you had a wonderful and Pesach. Hope all of us are able to pull free from our enslavement of our Egypt this year!
(Oh, and yes, all boys came into the room, but they were kind enough to let me finish typing! Yeah!)