I planned on a simple Shabbat... but my good intentions got the best of me.
I invited my in-laws.
We are going to Moshe's parents for Pesach Seder. So, I thought it would be nice to invite them for Shabbat HaGadol (the Shabbat before Pesach).
My MIL (mother-in-law) is totally put together. Her Shabbat table is always set on Thursday night, and her cooking is always done by then as well.
(My Shabbat table is set… before we eat on Shabbat… and my cooking is finished by….. well, I finish cooking before Shabbat. OK, so we have a mad rush to set the plata (hot plate) and everything else before we light Shabbat candles. Wanna’ make something of it?! I admit it; I am not good at the “domestic” thing. Suffice it to say that my MIL and I have very different strengths and weaknesses!)
Anyway, I knew that her kitchen would be kashered (koshered) for Pesach before Shabbat. (I was right)
My in-laws do a lot for my family and me. I often wish there was more that I could do for them. I knew that it would make things easier for them to come to us for Shabbat. Also, it has been a long time since we had them over. So, I enthusiastically invited my in-laws, without even consulting my husband. (oops!)
Then, it turned out that Moshe had to go to work on Friday. He worried about not being around to help when we were having his parents over. I assured him that we would manage.
You see, that is what is so great about Shabbat. Whether you are ready or not, it comes and you make do.
Sure enough, Moshe arrived home at the same time as his parents, about half an hour before candle lighting. The food was cooked, the beds were ready (almost), and the house was cleaned (relatively speaking).
I still had the Shabbat table to clear off (despite my best intentions to keep it clear all week long) and the kitchen counters (which seem to have gotten cluttered again, after a whole month of keeping them clean).
When I invited them, my MIL asked if she could bring something. I suggested that a salad would be helpful, but I emphasized that they did not need to worry about bringing anything.
Well, my MIL arrived with a fabulous fresh garden salad and the ingredients for several other salads. She and my FIL also brought fresh pastries for Shabbat morning and two platters of ready made schnitzels (fried chicken cutlets) for lunch. And fresh Challot. And two boxes of sweet cereal for the kids to finish!
Shabbat was wonderful.
It has been a while since we have hosted guests for all of Shabbat, and my in-laws are great guests.
I had to cut out a bit early from dinner, and I crashed on the couch after the main part of lunch, but I did not have to worry. My husband and kids were happy to entertain! (It was difficult for my MIL to see my pain and my need for pain killers. I tried to make light of it, but I could tell she felt distraught.)
When I awoke from my Shabbat nap, my kitchen was neat and tidy. That was definitely my MIL’s magic!!
After Shabbat, my in-laws had to rush home. I might have liked them to stay longer, but I also had to get right down to “business.” Early Sunday morning, my son would be leaving for a three day tiyul (hiking trip). He needed my help packing!
The only disappointment was that when we were done packing for his tiyul, it was too late to watch Star Trek.
My eldest was out with her youth group, so she did not mind. But my youngest was really disappointed, as was my husband.
Had I realized earlier that family Star Trek night was not going to work out, I would have suggested that my daughter and husband do something special together.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,