Well, folks, she did it again. My mother managed to pose as another woman, causing much confusion and suspicion among my dear, innocent children.
Actually, I'm partly to blame this time. You see, it all started about twenty five years ago. Our elementary school featured a regular visitor whom we affectionately called "The Picture Lady." This "lady" was any one of a number of mothers who volunteered to share a pre-determined piece of artwork with the classroom. Of course I was always delighted when my own mother got to be "The Picture Lady." It was a grand distinction.
So I wasn't surprised to get an email from my mom yesterday, asking if she might pop in during school sometime this morning since she would be in the area. Perhaps she could pose as "The Picture Lady" or do something else that might tie in with our lessons?
I was delighted. Our current history lesson focused on the life of the Jews during the Middle Ages. I gave her the details, suggesting that maybe she could run with a Jewish theme.
Well, boy did she run.
This morning, as we sat around the school table with spelling books in hand, there came a knock at the door. Miss Kate, eager to answer, peered through the window. She hesitated. "I don't know who that is. You get it."
Aidan offered his assistance. When he saw the strange figure, however, he quickly changed his mind. "Mommy? Can you get it?"
Bethie finally burst into the room, "I'll get it!" She slowly opened the door and was met by a veil-covered woman named Golde. Speaking with a strong accent, the woman asked if Bethie's mother was available. Bethie, very poised and polite, quietly directed the woman to my attention.
And Drew? He snickered. After the woman and I shared a few initial pleasantries, he couldn't take any more. "Hi, Noni." We couldn't pull one over on him. The cat was out of the bag.
We laughed over the surprise, but it definitely took a few minutes for the girls to calm down. It's not often that one entertains a loud Yiddish woman who turns out to be a relative.
We enjoyed our version of "The Picture Lady" immensely. "Golde" helped the children with their lessons. Their productivity was amazing. (Please come over any time, Mom.)
During our morning break we feasted on the Jewish pudding-like casserole called kugel that Golde had prepared. She shared about some of the Jewish traditions and terms that surrounded the dish.
Finally, we gathered at the piano for some serious singing. "King of Kings" was definitely on the agenda, along with a new song, "King of Glory." The tambourines (held by Aidan and Miss Kate) crashed frantically. Bethie and I danced as Jewishly as possible. Golde pounded away at the keys, while Drew made sure that we all kept tempo.
It was eventually time to bid our Golde farewell. Swept up in the moment, the girls donned their own scarves and thought it marvelous fun to become Jewish women. (Aidan somehow became a shepherd or something.) We blessed each other with a dozen Mazel Tovs and kissed our visitor goodbye.
I'm only four days into this thirty-one day challenge, and already I've been given a number of opportunities to sit with the people I love. I certainly never expected that I'd be sitting over a plate of kugel with my mischievous mother, but I sure am glad that it worked out that way. It was most definitely a blessing on my head. Mazel tov!