Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Kislev 5766 - December 28, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

The Holiday
by A. Reader

She was particularly tired that day. After serving a hot lunch to all the children, she asked her girl of twelve to look after the year-old twins, and begged the others to try to play quietly for half an hour, so that she could sleep.

She must have fallen into a deep sleep immediately; then something woke her. Silence, there was not a sound in the house. Jumping out of bed, she looked into each room. There were toys and books strewn around as usual, but the cribs were empty, and there was not a child in sight. Then she saw it, the note propped up on the kitchen table. 'To our darling Mommy, We saw that you were so tired, so we went out for a while. DON'T WORRY, we'll be back in time for supper Love from all of us."

As soon as a mother hears the words 'Don't worry,' or `Don't be cross' etc, from a child, she automatically begins to worry or to feel angry. It's a reflex action. Where could they have gone? How could she have slept so soundly that she hadn't heard eight children leaving the house?

She plugged in the telephone which she had disconnected when the children came home for lunch, and it rang immediately. It was her husband. "I thought you were asleep." As always, she laughed and said, "Why did you phone if you thought I was asleep?" He laughed, too, and replied, "I know you would never sleep by day."

"Where are you?" "I popped in to my brother Yanky, and all the kids are here, having the time of their lives." Does Gitty mind?" "Not at all. She says the cousins rarely get together, and she is keeping them till supper time. Goodbye, see you later."

Estie replaced the receiver thoughtfully. For over twelve years, she had never had the luxury of a lengthy refreshing afternoon sleep. She unplugged the telephone and went back to bed. But she was wide awake: why waste her precious free time just lying in bed? First, she tidied the house. Without any little helpers, everything was in its place, the pile of laundry was folded and put away, and the floors were swept, in no time at all. The place looked almost like Shabbos.

While she was making herself a cup of coffee, she wondered how she could use her precious free time. Years ago, she used to read anything she could find: Fine, she would read a book. After one page, though, she had had enough. The silence and the lack of disturbance irked her. She decided to phone her sister-in-law.

"Estie, how are you? Did you manage to have a rest?" "Oh yes: are you sure the children are not too much trouble? "Of course they aren't. We are having a great time together," she answered cheerfully. It was on the tip of Estie's tongue to say she was coming over to fetch them, but she restrained herself. She would prepare a nice supper for everyone instead. She put on a tape, but it was not the same without the children. She decided to phone a friend, not a sensible thing to do in the middle of the afternoon.

"Estie, what a surprise! How can I help you?" "I just wanted to ask you how you were." The friend was clearly puzzled. "Has something happened?" "I'll phone you later," she said hurriedly, and hung up.

She suddenly realized that she was not enjoying her unexpected holiday one little bit. She needed her children around her. She needed the noise, the shouting and squabbling. She wanted to be needed. They came home in high spirits, after seven. Their father had picked them up on his way from Kollel.

"How was it?" she asked. The chorus was unanimous . . . wonderful. Only the two babies struggled to get onto her knees and hug her. Estie felt she never wanted another holiday. Then her caring husband asked as he looked round the suspiciously tidy house, and the carefully set table, "Did you manage to get a rest?"

"Yes of course", she replied quickly. "I rested, I read a book, I phoned a friend, I . . ." She stopped: the glint in his eye told her that he didn't believe a word she said!


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