Monday, March 21, 2011

Ten children in my house

Sponge Bob and Forest Ranger stop to sample the goods
Israel is the best place to be for the holidays, and Purim is no exception.  Dressing up, parades, parties, and mishloach manot out the wazoo.  Normally it rains on Purim, but we had a lovely spring day instead and went for a tiyul (walk), giving and receiving treats while getting to know more of our neighbors.

Queen Esther and her Butterfly friend
We live in a "mixed" town, which means we have a potpourri of religious, traditional and non-religious Jews.  Even so, nearly everyone participated in the festivities on some level.  One woman confided that this year was the first that she had given mishloach manot and that she really enjoyed it.

After a few houses, Teneya found some of her friends and they went together to the community center for games and face-painting.  The day ended with a musical parade.

Today there were ten children in my house.  I was only babysitting two, three are mine, three are half of my next door neighbor's and come by at least once a day anyways, and the rest figured there must be some kind of party going on here but left after a while when they realized there wasn't.  There is no school today because of Shushan Purim, even though we're rather far from Jerusalem where it's being celebrated.

Life has given me a lot of lemons this year.
How much lemonade can a person really drink?

I rallied all of those little hands to the lemon tree where they happily picked fruit for over an hour.  For once, I didn't mind one bit that they were taking their sweet time to finish a "task."  Meanwhile, I organized my gemach, the second-hand store that has taken over my front porch.  My customers are usually mothers or new immigrants and today I went on a treasure hunt with a neighbor in all my piles and boxes, finding warm-weather clothes for her four children.


The second-most popular store in town,
right after the only other one: the grocery store

Hemdiya is teething, poor thing, and has a fever so I sent Teneya to the store to buy milk.  When did my little girl get so big?  We are missing Aaron, my beloved husband who gave his sparkling blue eyes to all three of our little ones.  He is in El Salvador for one more week, helping a community of benei anusim start a Sunday school for their 80+ children.  Being a "single" parent for the past three weeks hasn't always been easy, but then what is?  On Thursday, my rabbi-hubby shechted a calf which fed the whole community for the holiday weekend.  My mind is still chewing on this style of meat consumption and may have something more to say about it tomorrow.