Okay, so I didn't almost die. I had a cold. I was sick enough to be sent home from work early on Thursday and stayed home Friday. Unfortunately, the time I didn't take as vacation because I HAD to work, I spent on my couch alternating between begging the children to let me sleep and barking orders for them to clean the house. It seemed every time I fell asleep someone would come in and wake me. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. When I finally gave up, I tried to get them to clean the downstairs because we were having company Saturday night. Needless to say, some of the children complied. Some did not. And then I died.
Or, recovered enough to enjoy having two families over for dinner on Saturday night. Now two families may sound small and manageable but if said families were all crazy and all produced 4 offspring each... well, that's a whole lot of people.
One of ours was gone to a birthday party and another was away at college (not one of ours). That left us with six adults and ten children. Yeah. TEN. They ranged in age from six to fifteen. I would just like to praise Mother Nature for holding out on the rain that was predicted. The kids spent the majority of the night outside playing laser tag and chasing each other around outside. Yay Mother Nature! You go girl!
My husband declared the night, "Jewing it up night." We served matzoh ball soup, challah, hummus, matzoh, potato knish, applesauce, sour cream, He-brew beer, wine and salad. One family brought venison and the other brought latkes.
You should know, we live in a small town. We are one of three Jewish families that I know of. The kids only know two other Jewish students in their school. To say they are celebrities in their classes would be accurate. Their dad always did the Hanukkah demonstration in Primary school and the fact they get eight days of gifts makes them rock stars. When the oldest had his Bar Mitzvah it was the event of the year. I'm not niave enough to believe there is no hate but for the most part I believe my kids have positive experiences living in the situation they do.
So anyway, we are what I call Jewish-lite. We do not keep kosher. We do eat bread during Passover. We celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas and Easter. The kids do go to Temple and Sunday school. They attend Hebrew school and see their tutor every week while preparing for their Bar Mitzvahs. We discuss mitzvahs (good deeds) and tzedakah (charity) and try to make these part of our daily lives. So, Jewish-lite. Say what you may but this works for us and I think many families take what works for them from their religion and leave the rest. This is what works for us.
So, we have many friends that are not Jewish. We have friends that are curious. We needed a good excuse to all get together. Well, not really NEEDED an excuse. But with the business of 4 kids each, we needed a push. My husband gave us that push and I'm so glad he did. It was great fun. The kids are all friends and got along great AND the adults all get along really well. I find it is rare for that to happen. Men getting along and wives and kids. It's taken a long time for us to find this dynamic but I'm so glad we did.
Now for a string of non-related strange facts about our little group:
- The other two couples have been together since High School. Seriously. HIGH. SCHOOL. Yes, I find that odd.
- The men are all engineers. I guess that's not odd as I seem to know in inordinate amount of engineers and not just through my husband. But still, what's with all the engi-nerds? (heh, my pet name for them)
- We do not have the oldest child or the youngest but our kids are the closest in age.
- All the adults are between 38 & 41 and our kids ages are: 20, 15, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10, 9, 8, 8, 6, 6. The only ones without friends in the group are the 20 & 10 year olds. (they also happen to be the two not present)
- I have also now shown my highly nerdy need for numbers. They fascinate me. It's a sickness.
- I cannot fathom having a 20 year old nor a 6 year old. One of the couples has both. They are also not the oldest.
- I told you it was a sickness.
- Out of 12 children there are only 2 girls. 14 and 6. Two different families. Neither is mine. (You should all already know this random fact.)
- Maybe I should take a statistics course.
- Also, it does not escape my notice that I called them engi-nerds and I'm here with the number sickness.
Routine, it is good.