Last year at this time I was still a newlywed. My husband and I had four little kids between the two of us and two exes who were not happy at all with what we were trying to do by making a new life and a new family in Half Moon Bay.
We had our Seder on a tiny card table with folding chairs and kitchen stools and four little sweethearts in a new house, in a new town trying to understand our new family configuration.
The kids were amazing and it was one of the loveliest Passovers I have ever had. You can see how blissful we were. Here is the post.
This year we have settled in and things are different!
For the first night we had no kids and I wanted so much to go to someone's home so I could avoid preparing a Seder.... but here is my Seder plate, as beautiful as always.
This year things were very different. We still feel like we are in Half Moon Heaven in our lovely house in our lovely town but I am enormously huge, waddling and grouchy. I can't rush around like I normally do and with little sleep has also come very little patience.
You can see if you look at the post last year how we came to be in this position. All that love; all we could think of was adding one more little one who would be all ours, not to be shared or sent to someone else's house sometimes.
But it is amazing how different things are this time around! When I was having my first two babies my sister was also having hers and our parents were there to help and help and help. I was very young, very spoiled and without a care in the world. Our lives are so much more complicated and because of that there is more stress in some ways now, but in most ways I have such a deeper appreciation for everything in life coupled with a clear understanding of what matters and what does not that there is almost no stress.
Most of all I miss my family. I am so lucky because they were all just here for a quick visit and that was lovely but I think next year I will find a way to be in Kansas with them on Pesach.
Maybe it's just my utter exhaustion and feeling of total vulnerability because of being pregnant that makes me miss my family so much. Last year I felt like super woman making my Seder for my own little gang and this year I just wanted to put my feet up and skip it all!
It is impossible to imagine what the coming months will bring even though we have theoretically been through this already twice each. We have not done this together before. And you never know what a baby will be like.
This year the words, "this is the bread of affliction" had some special meaning for me. As much as I prayed to have this baby, being pregnant is scary and at times it feels a little bit like a loss of freedom. Freedom to move easily, breathe easily, think easily. But it is strange because emancipation from pregnancy results, please Gd, in a real total loss of freedom as you embark on parenting a baby and then a child.
As my body groans further under the weight of my sweet little guy, I start to look forward to the summer when I'll get to hold him in my arms and look in his eyes, but I also cherish this time of keeping him safe with me every moment.
If I were to show you a picture of me and my husband, I think we would look so much more tired and older than we did last year at this time. But I hold out a glimmer of hope that this time next year, I will be back to my normal size, our boy will be sleeping well and our family will be overflowing with joy.