On your marks. Ready? Go!
We are starting our Pesach marathon.
Whoops, what do you mean I am far behind and everyone is already there?!
It seems that each year Pesach starts earlier and earlier for us. For many years we hired a cleaning crew and a few days before Pesach we did the whole house in just one very difficult day.
This year we are in Israel and while the cleaning crews probably exist there is no way we can afford them. So we are on our own. So far kids have not exhibited an uncontrollable wish to clean, instead the little monsters want to eat. All the time. Right in the middle of me doing something! Well, since they are mine little monsters, we feed them anyway. And go back to cleaning. Unless one of us (guess who) can sneak away quietly to play with the computer. Of course, I keep calling it work, but you know what I mean.
Pesach is the Holiday celebrating our liberation from slavery in Egypt. So one can ask was it really so bad there? After all Jews got to exercise their pyramid-building skills and so on. The answer, of course, is yes it was. And there are many reasons why. But one of my favorite ones is that the work the Jews did was pointless work. They were building cities in the marsh. And whatever they would manage to build would sink down. So there was nothing to show for all the hard work.
I am thinking a lot about the similarities of what Mothers (especially Mothers of many children) have to do throughout the day and keep comparing it to what the Jews did in Egypt. All the food we cook gets (hopefully) eaten, laundry, washed yesterday turns up dirty in the hamper with depressing regularity, made beds get unmade and washed floors refuse to stay clean. Diapers get filled, pants torn, bedtime stories have to be re-told, dust keeps settling on everything, including the Mom if she stands still for more than a few minutes.
Are we enslaved? Do we need to get some burning vegetation around here? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, because being a Mom involves a lot of hard physical labour. Much more than I thought it did. Darn, if I knew how much, I might have had a sex change, called myself Bob and moved to Scandinavia – I heard they got some cool hangouts for male knitters there. On the other hand, all I do is done because I want to do that. OK, OK some of the diapers are very ripe, but if the choice is to inhale the aroma or clean it up, I am voting for fresh air. And all I do is done for the people I love. Remembering it is very, very important. It is not just a collection of dirty tushes, sore throats, leaky noses, messy hands. It is my family. And I love all of them. Even if they are little monsters, they happen to be mine. So I am not a slave, but a loving woman, whose house is a mess and whose kids are pretty happy most of the time.