In My Mother’s KitchenEileen S.

In my mother’s kitchen —
they all gathered to prepare for Pesach.  I knew and yet I didn’t understand the magic transformations taking place.  Mundane ingredients like egg white — once viscose, clear, sticky – were whipped into a froth soon to be a light airy sponge cake.  I can almost taste the sweet Passover dessert they made together.  I can certainly hear the punishing anger as I ran in from play, slamming the front door.  My Aunt Dora’s voice came like a an angry scold:  “Don’t slam the door! The cake will fall.”

Each Passover they came to my mother’s kitchen.  Bubbe, Aunt Dora, Aunt Lil joined my mother cooking and baking, chopping and mixing.  I hated being scolded.  I hated being restricted.  I hated it even more when my Bubbe and my Mother died and they did not come to take over my play space any more.

How lucky they were to work, to laugh, to love as they made yontiff.  How lucky I was to see them together.  How I wish I had the chance to make a holiday with them — oh, I do when I make matzah balls with you, Anna and Abby!

I am from…

I am from Chicago
eeeeeeeeeven though I have not lived there my entire adult life
eeeeeeeeeven though it has grown and changed dramatically
eeeeeeeeyou can hear Chicago when I speak

I am from Belle
eeeeeeeeeven though she died when I was only five
eeeeeeeeeven though I barely knew her
eeeeeeeeI miss her terribly and always long to know more

I am from the lonely child
eeeeeeeeeven though you might not guess it now
eeeeeeeeeven though I socialized and joined
eeeeeeeebut some things were always a bit uncomfortable

I am from my Bubbe
eeeeeeeeand I’m delighted to be a Bubbe now
eeeeeeeeeven though I had to figure it out myself
eeeeeeeemy only memories are of blintze leaves and the shochat

I am from my grandchildren
eeeeeeeethough they are young I can learn from them
eeeeeeeeeven as I try to help them grow and learn from me
eeeeeeeeI’dor v’dor —generations to and from generations

I am from continuity
eeeeeeeepast, present and future
eeeeeeeehealth, illness and strengths

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