Tonight I hosted Passover seder, as I have done for the past few years. We started hosting seder when we were unable to fly back to Texas and celebrate with my family. Our first year hosting , the kiss were too little to fully participate and understand much of the seder.
I remember being younger and getting dressed up to go to seder and Aunt Toots and Uncle Jacob’s house. (my great aunt and uncle) There were soooo many people! Both brothers, their kids, and all their kids! And usually 1-2 families unrelated to us. We probably had 40-50 people each year. All the adults at one end of the table, and the kids at the other. Usually after dinner all the kids would end up in the back room, playing with toys, or falling asleep! My favorite parts of the seder were asking the Four Questions, sung in Hebrew, and singing (in Hebrew and English!) Who Knows One? My cousin and I would get up and do all the hand motions to the song. Our seders were so long, yet fun too. We sang lots of songs and all went around the table taking turns reading the Hagaddah in English and Hebrew. We sang the same songs every year and there was so much tradition.
This year, as I lead the Seder, I was able to share those traditions with my children. Though our seder was much shorter than the seders of my younger years (by about 3 hours!), I was able to include many of the traditions that we had growing up. We took turns going around the table and reading from the Hagaddah. We sang the Ballad of the Four Sons to the tune of Clementine (my second favorite Passover song). I passed out dollar bills to all the children who looked for the Afikomen-just as my grandfather used to do for us. My daughter got to sing the Four Questions in Hebrew (she even had me teach them to her so she’d be ready!). And I got to sing Who Knows One? and teach my daughter and her friend the hand motions.
As I watched her sing the four questions, I couldn’t help but feel so touched, so happy, so sentimental during that moment. I saw how proud she was to sing, to know the part of the song in Hebrew. I saw moments from when I was a little girl singing the four questions in front of our whole extended family, excited to know the words.
My daughter asks me all the time to tell her stories from when I was a little girl, from thing that happen when I was her age. When I tell her a story and it includes “just like you are”, her eyes light up and I can see the excitement. I can see the connection getting stronger between us. I am so lucky to have family traditions that I am able to share and pass on to my children. These traditions truly give them a glimpse into my childhood.
PS: Because I didn’t get a single photo from the seder (insert forehead bump) I share with you my favorite Passover dessert, my aunt Jackie’s recipe for matza bark:
3-6 pieces of matza
1 c unsalted butter or margarine
1 c sugar 12 oz. semisweet chocolate bits
1/2 cup crushed or slivered nuts
Heat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet w/foil. Cover with matza. Melt butter and sugar over low heat then raise heat and boil for 3 min. Pour over matza and spread. Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and then cover with chips. Return to oven for 30 seconds. Spread evenly over matza and sprinkle nuts. Refrigerate at least one hour and then break into pieces. Scrumptious!!
PPS: (or is it PSS????)
My fellow bloggers and I have started a new hashtag encouraging everyone to be sentimental and embrace it! Check out these fellow bloggers (and friends!) who also lead sentimental lives. And make sure to use #sentimetallife when you have a sentimental moment to share! Check them out: Tori Pintar, Mandie Haberman, Katrina Meyer, Jen Snyder, Jessica Drogosz,