Let's face it. For adults, preparing for Passover can be exhausting. There is lots of cleaning and cooking to do. I can't think of another week on the Jewish calendar where we need to be so physically ready to celebrate a holiday.
Several trips are required to the supermarket in search of our favorite or forgotten Passover items. My family cooks and bakes not only for the seder but for the entire week. I lead the Passover seder - making sure that everyone is included and we have everything we need to help us celebrate.
We do this preparation in order to celebrate & remember the story of our freedom. But, more importantly - we know deep down inside the importance of keeping these traditions alive for our children and future generations.
In the last few days, I've learned that my children see Passover from a different point of view. Walking in their shoes, I realize that our multiple trips to the grocery store are lessons in what is and what is not kosher for Passover. They ask lots of great questions and thank goodness I can answer most of them (or look it up on Google).
Cleaning for Passover takes on a whole new meaning. It is not enough to put the toys away, but we are commanded to get rid of all the chametz (leavened food) in the house. Setting the seder table is not an ordinary chore. We take out china, crystal and the "good" silverware that we use on special occasions. The kids admire the table and decide tomake a contribution of their own in the form of making place cards for everyone.
The seder table is the place for the kids to shine. They bring their game faces and can't wait to begin. They read and sing with enthusiasm. The fans (adults) go wild as they watch them recite the Four Questions - which are always asked by the youngest children at the table. This year, my heart soared when I saw them stand up to read them - taking their role in the ceremony very seriously.
At the end of the evening - after the seder and festive meal are over -the clean up begins again. My daughter sneaks up behind me and gives me a hug.
"Mom, that was really great! Thank you," she says.
Knowing all of the hard work was worth it, I give her a hug back and let her know that the pleasure is all mine.