I am not a spiritual person particularly, but this is the second week in a row that I've been wondering what to write for my Thank you Thursday and, on opening my blog with only a half-baked idea (no Passover/Pesach pun intended), I find that someone has sent me something that inspires a completely different post.
A comment from CZ after yesterday's post, about trying to participate in a Pesach Seder, told me about a very moving article posted on the Chabad website on The Jewish Woman page. So first of all a big thank you CZ for the heads-up. And second, a short note about Chabad for readers not in the know.
Chabad is an ultra-orthadox and international, Jewish organisation that promotes acts of loving-kindness and emphasises reaching out to the unaffiliated to include them in the community. You may have heard of them called Lubavitch, after the place where the movement started. I am not a member and I'm not even that religious - let alone ultra-anything. However, I do have great respect for the work that Chabad do.
Obvioulsy I had to check out the article as CZ told me that it related to the single mother and the Seder. I'll get back to that in a moment. The article, An Unbroken Home: The Challenges of Being a Single Mother, is written anonymously by a divorced mother of a son. She writes about the impact of the divorce on her family of two, with the most amazing insight. For someone who has obviously suffered a great deal from being in the wrong marriage, she has managed to rise above the pain and view her situation in a calm and meaningful way. A way that lets her and her son live their lives positively and without bitterness. And I love the way she explained their situation to her son when he asked about the divorce.
I have never been married but I could totally relate to the parts about celebrating the holidays without an adult partner in the house. But what I really appreciated was that she decided to do a Seder at home for just the two of them. I wrote yesterday about my instincts telling me that taking DD out in the evening, even for something as important as the Seder, was not going to work. I also wrote that I didn't have the courage to just stay at home and do my own thing. It has been hard enough convincing people that it's ok, preferred even, for DD and I to be at home (alone) together on a Friday night for the Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner, but Seder Night...
Therefore, I thank you Anonymous Chabad Lady for legitimising the family of two, when one of the members is a mere toddler. I am grateful to you for recognising that families of two can celebrate and have their own holiday traditions without always being the guests at someone else's table. And I admire you for having the courage to say so. And, finally, I applaud you for giving your son his own family traditions and memories of Jewish holidays celebrated at home.