Whine... Margalit stole my idea....
Okay, instead of waxing poetic about how wonderful our seder was, I'll compare and contrast it to the expanded family dinner we had on Saturday night that hubbie attended. He's currently in a rehab hospital so this was a special night for him.
|Seder without Hubbie||Family dinner with Hubbie|
|Participation (Conversation, readings)||everyone||yes|
|Staying at table through dessert||everyone||Teens & kids bailed out; most returned|
|Stress Level when Finished||
Tired, but no stress
The seder was a totally enjoyable evening.
The family dinner was planned to see my brother, SIL, niece and nephew, cousins (including 3 year old), aunt and Dad. I had a great time playing with the 3 yo, but Hubbie started freaking out because we were playing with a ball in the living room and might break something. First of all- how hard can a 3 yo throw? (Although he was tossing it upwards). But aside from the fact that that really wasn't a lot of very fragile things around, I wouldn't have minded if something broke because I was having such fun playing with him!
Then during dinner, Hubbie wasn't in for normal give and take of conversation, but just kept talking over other conversations. This was probably due to the cognitive impairment that he insists isn't happening. In addition to his interrupting, he had plenty of negative things to say, as usual. He brings stress to situations because everyone is just waiting for the next snipe to come out of his mouth. Since you never know what is going to set him off, it's like sitting with pins and needles in your legs... uncomfortable and annoying.
The teens bailed off in different directions right after dinner, as did the younger kids- mostly up to Wii- because they weren't involved in what was going on at the table- quite a change from the interactive seder. When Hubbie does the seder, he insists on reading the entire Haggadah in Hebrew, which most people not only don't understand, but can't follow. It makes no difference to him. When he got sick, he also got Religion, and he insists that everyone bend to his Orthodoxy whether or not they want to. Unfortunately, the Religion he got isn't really something he practices... he just learns about it in an abstract way. But he makes sure that you know that you're doing it wrong if you differ from his opinion in any way.
So a Seder with him is long, boring, and without any humor. My kids were brought up on seders like that, and to see them experience the fun seder we had with Margalit's family was great. They all participated, they laughed and made jokes and were interested in finding good readings to complement the Haggadah. It was relaxing and fun and so easy compared to last year, when Margalit actually had to separate me and Hubbie because of his sniping at me. So embarrassing! So necessary.
Next year, Hubbie most likely won't be with us, and we'll have seders filled with history, wonder and joy. Just the way they're supposed to be. It was so enjoyable to see Abe and Rosie having so much fun at a family, religious occasion. They didn't even know that they were so relieved not to have their Dad around. The light in the distance is looking brighter.