last week i went to hadera at the last minute to be with the kids for shabbat. my son had requested me to join with the sephardi family clan for a shabbat bar mitzvah. still feeling slighted and uneasy, i had refused to go. finally, it came to light, that my new granddaughter was being named there. a kiddush was not going to take place here.
i was riddled with guilt but i still didn't feel like shlepping to hadera. i didn't like leaving the dogs alone, either. the last direct bus was at 11:00 a.m. i was still debating whether to go or not when a girlfriend called to say hello. she kind of shamed me into going. i quickly tossed a few things into a bag and called a taxi.
although it was a simcha, the family was still in deep mourning for the grandmother of the clan. i managed to make some chocolate tefillin and baby buggies before i left. i also brought a few packages of novelty napkins for both the bar mitzvah boy and new parents. it did add a bit of simcha.
i thought it was worth it all, when my son looked up and saw me waving to him from the women's section in the shul. i was his only family member there. his wife didn't make it to the shul. he actually, came over to me and hugged me on his own accord. it was the first time, in years, i may add.
i spent the first night of chanukah alone. the kids came up to light the huge chanukah menorah but sahar was not with them. he was at his grandparents' home. i gave them each a token present, socks and underwear, and they left. i had bought a diego doll for sahar and my son took it with him to give to sahar. i was really hurt. not only did i miss out on seeing his reacton to the gift, but i was left alone while they were all celebrating together.
i let my son know the next day, how upset i was. he accused me of being a 2 year old and reassured me that they would be coming to me for shabbat. i tried to let him know that i wasn't sure if i really wanted to make shabbat for them. it went way over his head.
the next night they, all 3 of them, came upstairs to light. i gave sahar a token chanukah coloring book and box of crayons and a cardboard dreidel filled with goodies. my son asked me to make latkes for them. i was feeling very uneasy with the daughter-in-law sitting there. i complied with his request and hassled to fry up some latkes while sahar colored and his mom nursed the baby. i also made a greek salad.
i invited a few friends over on thursday evening, the third night of chanukah. it was the third anniversary of my mother's passing. i was very emotional. i have an 'official' latke nlight every year. this year i tried to get creative. i made plain potato latkes for my friend, the purest. i made sweet potato and veggie latkes for my other friend who doesn't eat white potatoes. and i made pumpkin latkes for a friend who doesn't eat potatoes at all. i also made cheesey corn fritters, just for the heck of it.
i made home made applesauce and a greek salad. i served regular sour cream, and a soft goat cheese spread. i made chocolate coins, menorahs and dreidels. i set the table with menorah napkins and tons of assorted dreidels. i placed 14 chocolates around the table, strategically, and went off to the computer room. when i got back to the table all the chocolates were gone. there were candy foils and lolly sticks all over the floor. i can't say for sure, if both the dogs were in on this caper. i tend to think that it was cloey the beast, who ate all 14 chocolates.
the evening was very cozy and sentimental. i spoke very lovingly of my mom. my sister did not join us. she invited me to come over for a game of dreidel and i invited her to join us. i had a shot or two of whiskey and cleaned up a bit. i still have some greasy pans to wash out. my son let me know that they were definately, planning on being here for shabbat. i defrosted some fish, and chicken cutlets, and a small piece of meat.
on friday afternoon, i decided to make a spicy stewed fish and fried chicken cutlets. afterall, it was still chanukah. for lunch, i made a small beef cholent for my son and plain boiled potatoes for my daughter-in-law. i made fresh corn and white rice. i made cooked swiss chard which the kids like, and a tossed green salad. i also made an avocado and egg salad and a mixed colarabi salad.
i got woken up at 8:30 a.m. on friday morning by my son. he was leaving for work and leaving me his son to watch for the day. i needed to get down to the cemetary by around 10:00 a.m. i made him some eggs which he didn't eat. i made him toast and cottage cheese which he just picked at. he was wilder than a mad hatter. i hadn't had the pleasure of his company for a couple of weeks, and he had definately, forgotten how to speak english. he also forgot what dogs were.
i struggled with him for a while and then called a cab. i grabbed a memorial candle and a box of matches and away we went. he fell asleep in my arms as soon as we took off. i was debating on leaving him sleep in the back seat with the driver but i grabbed him out of the cab and walked over to the graves of my parents. i quickly lit a candle for mom, put stones on each of their graves, wiped off a bit of dirt on mom's grave with a baby wipe, bent down and kissed both of their graves, and let out a primal cry. i didn't want to go.
i got back into the cab and continued to sob. i got home and put sahar onto the couch and started to cook. i baked a cheesecake and put up the fish. when he got up, i took him on his bike, to the spermarket and bought challah and a few more veggies. i bought a cake because i din't have enough time left to make one. i gave him his bath and returned him to his mom downstairs at around 2:00 p.m. i really hussled to finish cooking and clean up. candlelighting was at 4:00 p.m.
i don't think it was the best meal i ever made but one of the most pressured times i've had. sahar was really sick over shabbat. he had a fever and was hyper active. i watched him for a few hours in the morning while his mom rested and his dad went to shul. he tore my house apart. it will have to stay that way until tomorrow. i am way too tired to do dishes or anything else tonight. it was a pleasant shabbat, you could say, even though i forgot to buy chumus.