I didn't have any specific hopes for our Passover seder yesterday, or so I thought. Max has matured and I figured he'd sit at the table, as he has in recent history. Ben would be the wild card.
I actually didn't have much time to ponder it because it was a bit hectic. Ben was in the middle of eating when we started reading the haggadah (which tells the story of Passover). Sabrina and Cousin Margo sang the Four Questions standing next to him. After that, Ben decided that his time would best be spent zooming around the table with his shopping cart.
Max got hungry and whiny, always a bad combination, so he ate as we continued reading and singing. He has come a long way since he refused to sit at the table at all and spent the evening in the living room watching TV. Then he started sitting at the table with headphones on. He's no longer that sensitive to noise so I figured he'd hang around. Only when it came time for dinner, Max stood up and declared that he was done and could he watch TV? Off he went to celebrate the night with fire truck videos.
Dave and I discussed it later. "He made it through the haggadah!" he said. I pointed out that he'd skipped dinner. "Yeah, but he knows he can get away with it," Dave said, and it's true. We've never forced him to stay, mainly because we didn't want to disrupt the meal with the meltdown that would ensue. I suppose we could have enticed with headphones and an iPad, like we used to do. But we permitted him to leave. (Cue: "Let my people go.")
My head says, "It's OK." My heart feels differently.
Maybe Max will be there for the whole seder today—two seders, two chances! Maybe I'll always keep wishing for it. Holidays have a way of making me yearn for tradition, even while we've done so well with creating our own.