That is what I wanted this Yom Ha'Atzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day).
Attend tefillah chagigit (festive prayers) in our neighborhood
Have a nice dinner at home, maybe even a BBQ
Go to sleep (skip the fireworks)
During the day:
Watch the chidon haTanach (Bible Quiz)
Go to my in-laws for a seudah chagigit (festive meal) with family (my SIL's family) and friends (my SIL's best friend and her daughter -- they are like family).
Just before Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, my eldest informed me that she would be spending the evening with her youth group and would be coming home sometime between 3 or 5 in the morning.
I considered demanding that she come home earlier, but decided to let her participate in her youth group's activities, which included prayers, dancing (just with girls), and other meaningful holiday activities, including the seemingly mandatory Bar-B-Q.
I was pleasantly surprised when she came home in the middle to eat supper with us. In the end, because my two youngest wanted it so much, I did Bar-B-Q, so that might have been an added draw for the oldest.
During supper, my eldest informed us that her youth group's Bar-B-Q would be at 4:00 in the morning. I figured that meant that she would sleep very late the next morning.
Nonetheless, the following morning, I did send my youngest to wake her sister in time to watch the chidon haTanach at 11:00. I was not really expecting my eldest to join us, so I was not surprised when she did not.
I was surprised later, when we insisted she wake up (around 3:30 in the afternoon) so we could go to my in-laws.... When my daughter realized what time it was, she was very upset that she had missed watching the chidon haTanach with the rest of the family.
I had not realized how important it was to her. Had I known, I would have made a greater effort to wake her. I knew she must have been very tired. I thought I was doing the right thing by letting her sleep as much as possible. And perhaps I was, because later, in the middle of our meal, she excused herself to go rest. She was so tired, she fell asleep on the couch.
That said, I certainly understand her disappointment. It is fun to watch together. The kids test their own knowledge, as they try to answer before the particpants. My eldest is quite good at this and enjoys sharing this experience.
Things are never quite as simple as we think they will be.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,