The first days of Pesach have come and gone. The four cups of wine were poured and consumed, the mah nishtana asked, the front door opened to greet Elihayu haNavi. Our new home was filled with the sounds and smells of family and holiday togetherness.
It was wonderful.
Shortly before candle lighting that first night, my mother-in-law and her sister knocked on my door. As I opened it, a stream of nieces and nephews entered and settled in. On the couch, in the den, down the stairs to the basement.
Our dining room was packed with chairs. The dining room table is already substantial (130 inches or some such measurement), but we supplemented our normal seating choices with folding chairs, office chairs, and even a bench.
The evening’s activities of reading the hagaddah and eating the festive meal stretched on past midnight, with various children falling asleep where they sat, where they lay on the floor (my daughter), and on guests beds and couches.
Before the men came home from shul, my mother-in-law came up from the basement where she had been supervising some children. She apologized to me, saying that the children had essentially taken out every single toy that was down there.
Had it been only my children, I would probably have been annoyed. Frustrated. Non-plussed. But because the mess was created by my nieces and nephews in addition to my kids, and because I am just so happy to be in town with family, I didn’t care about the mess.
Not only did I not mind the mess, I was happy about it. The mess wasn’t just something that I’ll need to tidy up. No, it’s a sign of love, of family, of closeness. Of memories being made. Of cousins playing together.
This mess I welcome with wide-open arms and a full, full heart.