The Good the Bad and the Bogus
As you may recall last Shabbos I decided to take it easy.
This Shabbos however I pulled out all the stops. We had lots of guests, the house was sparkling (or as close to sparkling as a 100 year old house full of secondhand furniture can look) I baked challah, made loads of good food, and set the table with our best dishes and silverware.
"Wow" my oldest said "It looks great in here! We should do this EVERY Shabbos!"
"Well" I said "I like it this way too, but it's a lot of work you know, if I had a little help from you and your sister it would be a lot easier..."
"Because you know" my daughter continued ignoring me entirely "every Shabbos two malachim (angels) come to your house a good malach and a bad malach..."
"What?" I asked "I've heard about the two angels but I never knew one was bad..."
"So these angels they come to your house and see what's going on and it's really nice like today the good one says 'It should be like this every week!' and the bad one has to say Amen. But if lets say you serve chicken from the STORE on PAPER PLATES then the bad malach says 'HA HA! it should be like this every week!' and the good malach has to say Amen. So then it's going to keep being like that."
"It's true!" my younger daughter chimed in "I learned that too!"
I learned a lot of things from that exchange. I learned that my children really appreciate the difference between a fancy shabbos and a plain one and that they like the fancy one better (which is not necessarily what I would have expected.) That being the case, I've learned that it's time that they had specific erev Shabbos chores for which they are responsible. Everyone will appreciate Shabbos more if we work together to make it special - me most of all.
I learned that I'm being judged all the time, by my kids, by the school, and by good and bad angels. I've also learned that just because my children aren't in nursery school anymore it doesn't mean they aren't still taking all the little "morah stories" (medrashim etc...) as seriously as chumash or history. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me as usual.