Funny things always seem to happen at my family’s Passover seder each year. Like the time my aunt got wasted, raised her glass, and gave a drunken salute to her sister’s ballz, or the unbelievably embarrassing time my parents played matchmaker with someone who not only lived on the opposite coast but was ten years my junior.
This past Monday, my family kept the shenanigans to a minimum but the revelry was very much intact. I tried to follow along as best I could from my faded blue Maxwell House haggadah, waited for my cue to pass around the water to wash hands (a role I take seriously). I ate entirely too much food, laughed a little too loud, and was only heckled a little bit to eat the egg. It’s fine, really, and I’ll take all the help I can get (ha!).
We had a new little face at the dinner table this year—my cousin’s baby, who turned two on the first night of Passover. That evening, my cousin and his wife made an announcement—that they were expecting their second child. We toasted and cheered and played with the little one, soon to be an older sister.
Sometimes getting together with the family is enough to put me over the edge. And by that I mean, getting together with the family tends to put me over the edge. Thank Buddha for Ativan (kidding, kinda). Anyway, a few glasses of wine later, I’m usually in fine form; pensive and grateful for these lovable weirdos at the dinner table with me.
And so it was this year. I thought about how much we’ve grown as a family. How much we’ve all been through—the musical chairs we’ve played over the years, the traditions that stuck, the marriages that sadly ended, the awkward nuances that only this family understands because, come hell or high water, we are all in on this journey together.
I thought about the baton that would one day pass to the younger generation. Would we make our ancestors proud? Could I host a dinner for this many people one day? Is it possible for me to cook enough food to feed a small army, and what’s the point of serving gefilte fish if everyone turns up their nose anyway?
Does your family celebrate Easter or Passover (or both!). Tell me about some of the traditions in your family.