Last Friday, at Harlow’s request, we had our first Shabbat dinner. My sister’s family came over, Mike cooked roasted chicken and I think we had about five loaves of challah— Mike bought one, my sister brought one, Harlow baked one at school and a super nice reader who read my Super Jew post, sent us challah as well— one big loaf for the family and two small personal sized loaves for Mazzy and Harlow. (THANK YOU, SHANA!!!)
Look how excited Harlow was to get a loaf of challah with her name on it:
We even used our wedding china and put down a table cloth, something we’ve only done a handful of times, all of them before we had kids. Mazzy and Harlow didn’t even realize we had a whole other set of plates.
We used candlestick holders Harlow made at preschool and a matzah cover Mazzy made at Hebrew school. The girls said a prayer over the candles together (while all the adults let them lead because we don’t really know it) and they took turns helping me light them. Then Harlow had a meltdown because we weren’t shutting all the lights and eating by candle only.
“YOU HAVE TO SHUT THE LIGHTS!!!!!!”
“It’s okay, Harlow. We can keep the lights on.”
“NO! THAT’S NOT HOW YOU DO IT!!!!”
Up until that point, we’d been pretty accommodating with Harlow’s Shabbat requests, but Mike drew the line at cooking in the dark. We compromised by dimming the dining room light.
Then everyone settled down, clinked their wine/grape juice and we enjoyed dinner as a family. Which meant, I put my camera away after I took this picture.
When the four of us eat dinner all together, we always do this thing called “Boo-hoos and Woo-hoos.” I can’t remember where I got the idea (maybe one of you suggested it?) but it’s been really effective at starting dinner conversations with the kids. A “woo hoo” is the best thing that happened in your day and a “boo-hoo” is the worst thing that happened in your day.
Usually, Harlow’s boo-hoos are something very literal. An actual boo-hoo, like “when I bumped my elbow.” And then that elbow bump will remain her boo-hoo for the next two months until she gets another actual injury that she can slot in its place. Mazzy will usually say she has no boo-hoos or she’ll say “when Harlow was crying” which has usually happened just a few minutes prior. Mike and I will often use our boo-hoos as subtle teaching opportunities. “My boo-hoo was when you two had trouble sharing your princess costumes” or something like that.
The woo-hoos end up being much more interesting because Mazzy will usually bring up something at school and we’ll get to learn something about her day. Harlow will always say, without fail, “My woo-hoo was when we all ate dinner together as a family!” She must have heard me say that the first time we did boo-hoos and woo-hoos and then she has recycled it ever since. No matter how many times she says it, it’s fine by me. It’s always adorable.
On this night, with my sister’s family present, after the food was served and everyone had moved on from mauling the challah to eating something with actual protein, Mazzy suggested we do our woo-hoos and boo-hoos.
“What’s that?” my sister asked.
Mazzy explained it to her and then we all went around the table, lamenting about boo-hoos like personal injuries (Harlow’s elbow) and hardships (Jack losing his toy) until we got to the woo-hoos.
“What’s your woo-hoo Harlow?”
“When we all had Shabbat together as a family!”
Then one by one, Harlow’s woo-hoo was echoed by all.
Shabbat Shalom everyone! Here’s to new traditions!