When I left you, we were waiting for the kids to come home and finish the decorating.
Their enthusiasm was overwhelming.
I put turkey and Oreos in their mouths and suddenly there was energy aplenty.
They hung the sign and snapped the photo and they didn't seem to think it was relevant that passage between the party and the main entry was obscured.
"They can pay attention and duck their heads," was the ten year olds' reply.
I had nothing in the way of a retort.
One of my favorite things about parties in Tucson is that the Dads usually come along, too.
Will's father listened
as I contemplated creating menorahs out of clay.
When I was ready, the crowd gathered for a brief period of instruction.
Instruction, you ask?
Yes, I reply.
Few of our guests had ever seen a menorah up close and personal before.
I had some metal ones out on the table as exemplars, but once the artists got started, those became irrelevant.
Some were quite independent, like Miss Texas, the snake maker.
Some were happier with mom sitting nearby, not helping, but not leaving, either.
Some tried unusual shapes
which turned out to have structural integrity issues.
He ended up with a straight one, after the candles refused to stay upright.
When her first try didn't work out,
this happy one smashed it to smithereens, grinning all the way.
"I'm flatttttening it!"
The big girls played dreidle for pennies,
while the rest of us fit candles into menorahs
and lit the shamash with a recalcitrant lighter
and then, with the other Jewish mother at the party we chanted the blessings in Hebrew and in English
as we lit our candles
and sang songs and smiled,
watching the lights create their own little miracle right there in Amster's living room.
He was mesmerized by it all.
Then, it was time to eat.
Latkes frying in my pans
turned into lusciousness on the plate, although in need of a bit of salt, it seems.
Chanukah cookies satisfied the sweet tooths.
(Should that be teeth? I pondered. Comment below if you choose.)
And yes, there was protein. I made a turkey.
You've already seen the veggies.
It was a magical, wonderful, special evening, with parents willing to come out on a school night and see what Chanukah is all about. They're all signed up for next year's event.
After all, this is what they saw:
Who wouldn't want to do it all over again?