What My Son Did After I Cleaned his Room for Passover
Last week, I went through the clothing in my boys’ room and set aside clothing which no longer fits to be given away or into storage bags which I labeled with their different sizes. I gave away the give-away bag and then placed the storage bags on top of my sons’ cabinet.
This past Sunday one of my family members had to unexpectedly go into the hospital for three days, which meant (among many, many other things) that I fell three days behind on Passover cleaning.
Last night I came home at around 7 PM, and my 8-year-old Yoel greeted me with a huge smile, “Eema, you won’t believe it! I cleaned my whole room for Pesach! It is METSUCHSACH!” Metsuchsach means something like “I scrubbed it so clean that it shines like a diamond!”
But when I looked in Yoel’s room, it looked more like the mine than the diamond. While searching for chametz, Yoel had taken most of the articles of clothing I had set aside so carefully into storage bags and left them lying all over the beds and the floor. He also found my new skirt for seder night which I was keeping in his closet, and put it away…well, he doesn’t remember where.
At that moment, I had a few choices…
4. Tell him exactly what I was thinking, and LOUDLY!
But this last Shabbat at the playground a mother told me something she heard from Rabbanit Yemima, that before Pesach there will, without a doubt, be mishaps in which a child of yours ruins hours of hard work by eating or putting something chametz where you have already cleaned or by messing up something you already organized.
And at that moment, Rabbanit Yemima said, you need to remember that this is your opportunity for “Gevura,” heroism.
So when I saw Yoel’s “Metsuchsach” room, I refrained from doing all the things I wanted to do and instead said “Great job, Yoel! I think you did such a thorough job that you don’t have to do any more work in this room at all!”
This morning, when I said the blessing “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokanu Melech Haolam. ozer yisrael b’gevura” I thought of all the things I didn’t say to Yoel.
And I knew this was a story that I wanted to pass on to you, just in case your child does something that drives you absolutely crazy before Passover, and you are wondering what exactly you should say, or not…:)