My second Passover Seder was last night with Bryan’s Dad’s side of the family. It was a crazy day – we left work early, raced to the house to let the pooch out and make a snack for the boys, then raced to pick up the boys at daycare. From there, we headed to Dallas (no racing involved when the boys are with us, of course!).

*** One year ago ***

The afternoon started out much the same as above, but I was a nervous wreck. That morning, as Bryan was “briefing” me on what to expect at that night’s Seder, he casually mentions that they go around the table, taking turns reading passages from the Haggadah. “WHAT?!? I’m going to have to READ ALOUD in front of your ENTIRE family at an important religious dinner?!?” I’ve never had an actual panic attack, but I came very close over the idea that I would be “performing” in front of potential future in-laws.

I was so nervous that I couldn’t enjoy or pay attention to the seder–I kept looking ahead to try to figure out which passage would be mine to read aloud. As silly as it sounds, even the way the dining area was set up made me nervous. Bryan is the first-born son (of a first-born son of a first-born son), so we were seated at the head table, basically facing the room. The dining room is raised about two steps above the living room, where extra tables were set up, so it really felt kind of like being on stage. Add to that the heightened importance of the gathering – not just a casual family dinner – and the finely set table, and I was just about beside myself–at least through the first two glasses of wine (surprisingly, after that, I relaxed a little).

As it turns out, I didn’t make any major blunders (though I’m sure I butchered some pronunciations), and I’m told that no one had any idea how really nervous I was, so I must have covered it well. The food was good, and, though we were exhausted after it all, I did have a good time.

This year I was much more relaxed through the seder. I actually relaxed a little and enjoyed the readings, without counting ahead to see which one would be mine. Our oldest read the 4 questions (in English) for the first time, while Bryan’s cousin read them in Hebrew. It was his first time to read them in Hebrew and he did a great job. We were all quite impressed.

The rest of the evening went well, and as usual, ended too soon. I was surprised to see that it was 10:00 when we got in the car to head home. We had a long drive and the morning rush to school and work would come early. As we drove off, I mentally compared last year’s Passover to this year’s. I chuckled to myself about how silly I was a year ago. Bryan didn’t even have to ask; he knew where I was, and I don’t think we’ve ever been more glad to be there together.

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