You are cordially invited to our home on Shabbos afternoon

for the Sixth Meal of the Three-Day

Yom Tov….

Bring your kids, your appetites,

and your leftovers!

Women only ;)

Shabbos, October 14th

12 p.m.

39 Lakeview Road

Looking forward to greeting you!

“We’re using plastic.”

I heard Shaindy’s voice from across the kitchen and waved her away. Over the phone, Esti was still talking. “I love you, Libby, seriously,” she was saying. “And the e-mail invite was adorable! My kids were so excited, they kept pushing to see it again on my phone — wait, where did Yanky go with my phone? Hold on, I’m on the landline now. Need to find that kid, last time he played with my Galaxy he sent crazy text messages to my boss—”

It was early Wednesday morning. My parents had just flown out to Chicago to be with my sister Dena. She’d called last night, panicked, to let us know she was in labor, for real this time. Dena had phoned with the exact same story before Rosh Hashanah and before the first days of Succos; there’s something about the prospect of three days without cell phone service that gives everyone contractions, even if they’re not expecting.

But when my brother-in-law got on the phone to tell us they were en route to Rush University Medical Center, with Dena screeching in the background that she is not having her mother-in-law do Lamaze with her and she needs Mommy to come right now, my frenzied parents booked tickets that hour and took a 6 a.m. flight out, leaving Shaindy and I back home. My aunt had invited us for the Yom Tov meals, which we’d accepted.

“But I’m not leaving the house the third day,” Shaindy had insisted. “There’s only so much dry shampoo can do. I’m hibernating, tell her.” I’d agreed; Shabbos we’d do ourselves. Then the thought of being cooped up with my 19-year-old sister for yet another day started giving me heart palpitations, and I impulsively sent an invite for the day meal to Esti, a married friend who lived a block away and was drowning with her baby and three other kids under age six; our small community had an eiruv, making these arrangements easier.

“Who needs company the third day?” Shaindy was hissing furiously now. “And she’s your friend, not mine. I don’t want anyone examining my third-day pimples! And we’re using plastic.”

“Esti’s not like that,” I reassured her, waiting for my friend to get back on the line. “And come on, be nice. She’s going stir-crazy with the kids the whole Succos.” I did feel bad. Her husband went to Uman for Rosh Hashanah and got stuck there the entire Tishrei because of some passport issue, her parents went to Florida for the second days, and her mother-in-law invited her to come without her two-year-old, if possible, or to strap him to a chair.

Esti came back on the line. “So yes, we’d love to come! I’m going crazy with the kids, especially Yanky…. It’s bad to say this out loud, you know, but by the time Shabbos comes around on that third day, I’m ready to throw them out the win— okay, I’m not saying it out loud. I love you, for real. I’m totally looking forward!”

“So are we,” I said grandly, turning my back on Shaindy, who was shaking her head furiously and making wild hand motions.

“We’re using plastic,” she repeated stubbornly. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 562)