Thursday, January 11, 2007
My Dad told me a saying once: "Guests are like fish. They're fine for a day or two, but then they start to stink." Canada-friend told me another; "You're thrilled to escort them in, and thrilled to escort them out."
Neither of those quite describe my guest experience, but it was challenging. I understand why welcoming guests is welcoming the Shechina: you have to really move yourself aside, in your very own space.
Honestly, I had a great time. The family is amazing. The first night they were here, the wife (we'll call her "Talia") announced that they were all going out after supper. She said, "I'm sure you have a routine, and we don't want to interrrupt it." I hadn't really thought of it until that very moment, but it's true. And I was grateful for her thoughtfulness. When they left, we did homework, bath, and bed. Last night they were here during "routine time," and things were upside-down.
There was more cooking, consideration of special food needs, even some extra childcare for me. But it was so worth it! Last night Talia and I had a farbrengen. I got to really know her. She played Yaakov's guitar and sang original music, we even knocked off some Indigo Girls tunes. We complimented each other's voices and told secrets. I went to bed at 2 and woke up (at 7) with my kids and her kids. Baruch Hashem, it wasn't hard - it was just more.
When they left at noon today I shut the door behind me and breathed an audible sigh of relief. It surprised me to hear it. "Wow, that was a lot," I thought. They are leaving for a week and then coming back for another 4 or 5 days. I'm looking forward to the rest!
But I'm looking forward, too, for their return.