When we left, not much food was prepared. Out of 6 meals -- we were invited for two, friends prepared one meal, and my sister prepared another -- that left 2 more meals to be prepared by my aspiring chef, i.e. my 12 year old daughter.
We met my neighbor on the way out the door, as we were leaving for the hospital, and I asked my son to mention to her where we were going and if she could stop by to check on my daughter from time to time, to see if she needed any help/advice with the cooking.
We also tried to reach my sister, who would be joining us for the first day of Yom Tov, to see if she could come early to help, given the current situation (that I was going to the hospital, mere hours before the holiday began). We discovered later that my sister, who had prepared everything in advance, was out of town for the day.
When we returned from the hospital, to find the house peaceful and all set up, we assumed that our neighbor and my sister were responsible. They were both quick to inform us that our kids had really done it all. The kids had worked together and made it happen.
In fact, the kids even handled a small crisis (a grease fire in one of the cooking pots) calmly and responsibly.
When push came to shove, there was no pushing and no shoving. Our kids cooperated and helped each other and did what needed to be done.
As we sat down together, to share the first festive meal, we thanked the children for pulling it all together, feeling both proud and extremely grateful.
I felt accutely aware of all the blessings surrounding me: my children, my sister, my husband.
God has blessed me with the greatest gifts of all.
I was tired, I was weak, but I was home with my family.
There is no better way to start the NewYear.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,