Apr 30 2014
My sons are 5.5 and 8. As I have discussed on Kveller before, I don’t watch TV and my sons had not seen TV until their dad showed them some Sesame Street-type stuff a few years ago on his iPad. I had–and still have–no interest in watching TV with my kids. I don’t have time to deal with the fights children have with parents about wanting to watch more, or a particular show, or buying the toys that the advertising industry jams down our kids’ throats–basically, I want nothing to do with it.
Now that I am divorced, I have to accept in new ways that my son’s father may do things in his house which I don’t do in my house and that’s got to be okay. He shows them TV. They don’t watch a lot, and we discuss what they watch, but I simply don’t show them any TV. I don’t have cable, so my TV is for watching movies and that’s all.
My boys have seen a few movies on their dad’s TV, and they have been very simple classic movies. I’ve watched a few at their dad’s house with them. We recently all went on a divorced family field trip to take our boys to their first in-theater experience, “The LEGO Movie,” which was awesome. (Here’s my post about it!) Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 23 2014
The eight days of Passover are over as of last night. Here are the highlights of my days of Chol Ha’Moed (the intermediate days) and the final religious days of the holiday.
1. Heartburn. Never had it in my life. Apparently, it happens to a lot of people from matzah. So I’m a vegan. And I don’t eat kitniyot during Passover (beans, corn, rice, etc). And I basically was unable to eat matzah for the final four days. Try and think of what I could eat. Not a lot. It was lots of fruit, spinach with Russian dressing, nuts, and dates. And some BBQ potato chips. And the last of the corn syrup-free Passover Coke. Mama was hungry. And pretty grumpy.
2. Universal Studios. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 17 2014
I feel like I can’t even put two sentences together. Passover has me worked. I’m tired of cooking, I’m tired of not being able to eat out (I know, I am spoiled, I know!) My stomach already hurts from matzah. That set in literally 24 hours into the holiday. Okay: I’m done kvetching. I just had to put that out there.
And, oh, here’s my lunch from the set of “The Big Bang Theory” the other day.
Mmmmmm. Matzah. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 14 2014
Well, folks. Passover is upon us. The cooking is done. All that’s left for me to do after work today is assemble the eggplant-tomato casserole at my ex’s and to help him set the table. And to hang on tight as I head into eight days of not eating out, not eating grains, not eating beans or corn or anything with those ingredients, and eight days of feeling a part of a tradition stretching back thousands of years.
Tonight at sundown we begin the celebration of the freedom that should be a human right: to be allowed to eat where and how and when you want, to not be a slave to someone else’s desires or needs, to not forget what it means to be imprisoned simply because you are not enslaved today.
For many Jews, Passover is a beloved holiday. The proscriptions for observance are centered in the home. The Seders involve singing and discussion and this communal meal that echoes ancient order. And as much as many of us complain about matzah making our tummies hurt, there is a familiarity to this holiday of complaining and kvetching about the Bread of Affliction that I cannot distance myself from. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 11 2014
Passover begins Monday night with the first of two seders. Because of my work schedule, I can’t host the seders this year. My ex-husband has generously offered to host in his house for the first time.
How? What? Why? Seriously?!
My ex and I decided even before our divorce was publicly announced that we would put our kids’ needs first as much as humanly possible, which we decided meant including each other in holidays and family events as much as possible. As I discussed here last year, last Passover was the first Passover since my divorce, and my ex and his mom and my parents and my uncle and our kids all celebrated together.
In this past year, we have spent holidays such as Thanksgiving together (and with each other’s parents!), we have attended weddings together from respective sides of our families, and we have even done things like go to Disneyland with our kids (and my ex’s mom) and take them to their first movie together. It’s not always 100% comfortable, but as far as our kids are concerned, it is. They know we’re divorced, I promise. The whole two houses, two sets of sneakers, two toothbrushes, and shlepping toys and dolls and Hebrew homework back and forth makes it really clear that we are divorced. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 9 2014
In the spirit of Passover, Kveller asked our readers and writers: What do you need to break free from this year? Here’s Mayim’s response as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series. Want to join in? Tweet @kveller with the #WhatsYourExodus hashtag.
My Exodus this year is thinking about my needs first, rather than dampening them to make other people more comfortable. What a novel idea, right!?
I grew up thinking that being accommodating and maybe a little teeny tiny bit of a martyr was positive, and now I see that I have gotten lost in the forest of other people’s needs. I want to actively and bravely take back my voice this year and I want to pass through the narrows of Mitzrayim with more clarity and self-respect than I ever thought possible. I hope to achieve this by putting my needs first rather than making my needs smaller to make other people happy.
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Mar 27 2014
Anyone else starting Passover prep?
Here’s what I did last weekend in order to start the thorough, divinely ordained, obsessive-compulsive, halachically elucidated purging of the five grains the Torah forbids us from consuming, eating, or gaining benefit from during the eight days of Passover, which begin this year on April 14, at sundown.
1. Croutons. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 29 2013
Pesach was good! Mid-divorce, I hosted everyone. And it was great.
In addition to my I-still-call-her-my-mother-in-law and Michael, my parents were there and my uncle. My closest and oldest friend and her 7-year-old daughter came and the kids had a blast. Her 7-year-old and my 7-year-old even let my 4-year-old find the afikomen because he was literally having a fit about the possibility of not finding it, starting at about karpas. Thank you, mature 7-year-olds! Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 21 2013
I saw an ad in a Jewish magazine today advertising the 30 minute Seder: The Haggadah That Blends Brevity With Tradition. “Sarah B.” from New York City says (on the ad), that this haggadah makes Passover “a joy to celebrate.” Hmmm.
In case you were wondering, it’s also “rabbinically approved,” “refreshingly brief” (hence the 30 minute bit), and “gender-neutral.” Hmmm.
Yep, I’ve got opinions. I’ve also got a lot of reasons to have opinions. (You can check out the haggadah here.)
As a mom of two young boys, I like the idea of a short Seder (and really, who doesn’t!?). By the time the Seder rolls around, most kids are already in bed. What gives? I asked my Partners In Torah chevrusa: Why have a ceremony that kids can’t even stay awake for?
Her answer–and the answer I have come to understand–is sort of up for debate. And you may not agree with it. But here’s what I have come to feel about this matter. And here’s why I won’t be doing a 30 minute Seder. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 19 2013
Passover is upon us and I am sort of almost ready. Because of my car accident seven and a half months ago and my tendinitis which I am just finally over, my cleaning and cooking will not be as thorough and rigorous as I like them to be, but I am doing things differently this year and that’s a good thing.
Here are the things I am doing differently:
1. Not obsessing as much as I like to. Traditional Judaism is a beloved religious undertaking for those of us on the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum, with its myriad boundaries, numerical rituals, and things to do and not do in order to be “right” with God and the world. Even our spring cleaning is regimented, to a certain extent, and I usually take this time of year to go totally nutso bonkers with my cleaning. This year, it will be more by-the-books and I will save the super duper magnifying glass-type of scouring for another time when my hand is better. And that’s ok. Read the rest of this entry →