Yep, another parent helper day come and gone. Several of the children were having tough days, and the teachers handled it with amazing calmness and caring. Today’s snack, always provided by the parent helper, featured the orange through purple colors with carrots, purple grapes, strawberries, and matzos. I was hoping to get some of those crackers that are a little more palatable, but there were none at the store. The kids didn’t mind, anyway. They munched up the food.
It is a bit weird for me to be the one bringing matzoh to school. I think a few kids kept Passover in my high school; not too many at my elementary school did. When I was a kid, the culture from home that I brought to school was literally a culture in a Petri dish. I remember bringing in glow-in-the-dark mold and slime mold to my fifth grade class. That is what happens when you have a biologist for a mother.
Not being terribly religious, not much at all, my brushes with codified faiths ranged from seeing my best friend come home from church in a skirt. She was a tomboy, so she instantly changed and threatened to hit me if I laughed. I sat through some services for weddings and on the occasions my sisters played in a church. Bar and bat mitzvahs were the only Jewish services I went to. One of my friends often invited me over for Shabbat dinner on Fridays. These were enough to get a small taste, a flavor, but I was never immersed in the regular ritual gatherings of any group.
I do remember thinking kids who brought different foods on certain days stood out. Now I have that role, and I pass it on to my children. How will they respond to the inevitable questioning and less-than-subtle reactions to difference that will come. Hopefully they will see it as a source of strength and pride.