Purim is next Saturday night/Sunday. I’m getting divorced. Let me tell you what I’ve learned this Purim season: kids don’t give a good gosh darn if you’re getting divorced; they want you to show up for Purim in a family-themed costume.
Two years ago, we were all superheroes. I was Wonder Woman (
-style, complete with denim skirt past the knee rather than bathing suit), the elder son was Superman, the younger son was Batman, and the almost-ex was Robin. We were adorable.
Last year, we were cowboys. Also adorable.
This year, the boys knew about our impending divorce, but God love them, they didn’t even flinch as they started discussing Purim costumes for the four of us. I wanted to stop them, but they were so excited, and so interested in what we should be, that we could not bear to stop them.
The choice of costume could not be cuter, divorce or not: we are going as the vintage comic book cast of Tin-Tin. The almost-ex and our younger son are going as the twin detectives Thompson and Thompson (picture them in suits and ties, Charlie Chaplin mustaches, canes, and Derby hats), the elder son is going to be Tin-Tin, largely because he has the most awesome cowlick that makes the hairdo almost effortless, and the boys chose who I would be. The drunken sailor? Nope. The cab driver who wears a turban and is vaguely if not overtly a racist caricature of a cab driver? Nope.
I’m Snowy the white dog. That’s right, folks. I’m Snowy the white dog. Picture it however you want to; it’s going to be that and funnier.
It’s kind of tragic, but it’s also sweet. And lovely. We are a family, even if we are not going to be married anymore. We may not always sport family-themed costumes, but this year, it feels right to. We planned it all together, we will execute it all together, and we will go to hear the megillah and attend the Purim carnival together. Because we’re a family.
Another thing I do at Purim is make hamantaschen with a variety of homemade fillings. This year, I’m making plum hamantaschen (with jam I made from the plums that grow on my mother-in-law’s tree), apricot hamantachen (because that’s my favorite), and I’m making chocolate/nut. That’s Mike’s favorite.
Because that’s what families do. We make hamantaschen that we know the father of our sons likes and we serve them joyfully and gratefully and generously.
This is the holiday of nothing being what it seems, of the fate of one woman and one people being turned upside down in a terrifying and mystical instant. And this is the holiday of finding God in the most hidden crevices. God is always there, always watching; hoping and waiting for us to show that we are not what we appear to be–that nothing is what it appears to be. And in one instant, one blink of an eye, one wave of a scepter, one rotation of a barrel, we can go from the lowest bottom to the highest top.
Chag Purim Sameach. Turn it upside down!
For more on Purim, check out Mayim’s tricks for Purim costumes on the cheap, more ideas for family-themed Purim costumes, and Kveller’s official Purim cocktails.