Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Dancing in the Kitchen

Estee Rabinovicz

My mother made a decision: If she wanted a home fueled by love, light, and happiness, no one could create that energy but her

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 Mishpacha image

HAPPY HOME After all is said and done, every single one of my siblings, from the whitewashers to the psychoanalyzers to those in between who say there is nothing to whitewash or psychoanalyze, agree that notwithstanding a forgotten book report or two (or ten), our home was a happy place to be. And no one doubts who gets the credit for that

M y mother danced in our kitchen.

The fridge might have broken or the sink backed up, or maybe a teacher called for the third time in a month, but she danced.

It wasn’t always simple. We lived out of town, had no Jewish neighbors, and Mom didn’t drive. She’d walk to the supermarket 15 minutes away to do her shopping and take a taxi home with 37 bags of groceries (or wait for our father, who would get there after his last shiur and locking up the shul after Maariv), but she danced.

Her closest relative lived an hour and a quarter away, and as the wife of a pulpit rabbi she was unable to pick up and go to her own mother for Shabbos if she ever needed a break. There were no pizza shops or kosher takeouts to fall back on after a hard day, and no kosher catering, so that a Shabbos bris meant she “catered” it herself… but still, she danced.

While my mother pumped up the music and danced (often grabbing our arms to swing around with her) her peers were going back to school for their master’s degrees, hanging shingles outside their doors, and advancing professionally.

Our mother accomplished what she set out to accomplish. She wanted light. Lots of light. A light strong enough that her kids would take it with them into their own homes

While she danced, her friends went on vacations and traveled and got manicures and met for coffee. She was in our tiny gray-and-white Formica kitchen, cooking, baking, dicing, wiping, asking about our day… and dancing.

*

Early on, my mother made a decision: If she wanted a home that was fueled by love, light, and happiness — not just temporarily but to spill over and carry her family on magical wings later on in life — there was no one who could create that energy but her. And, come what may, she’d do it.

I won’t whitewash. I won’t pretend there weren’t challenges or that my mother sang and danced her merry way through the tough times. Like everyone else, there were bumps in the road. Money was tight (did we know that at the time? I can’t remember.), there were chinuch issues and medical issues, household help was nonexistent — or at best, scarce, in the later years — and by the time her teenagers were old enough to really help, they were too busy… dancing in the kitchen.

Those were different times, and where today’s mothers can avail themselves of classes, CDs, books, and lots of talking things out, the mothers of yesteryear relied on instinct, thinking things through on their own, and prayer. Lots and lots of prayer... (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 536)

Related Stories

Rent-a-Bochur

Zivia Reischer

“No, seriously!” My mind lit up with a thousand ideas. “Rent-a-Bochur. That’s what we’ll call oursel...

How to Train Your Husband Not to Buy You Jewelry

Bashi Gruber

Months after our wedding, when my birthday rolled around, my husband gave me a gold and diamond pend...

Lifetakes: Five Candles

Yudit Green

What does she pray for? Is she saying that tefillah? The one for her children to go on the right pat...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you