Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Purim

Two Queen Esthers
The Jewish religion isn't exactly brimming with happy, festive holidays, but we do have Purim. Imagine the costume parade and sweets of Halloween mixed with the retelling of a classic story and plenty of with noisy audience interaction (this year our temple did it in the vein of A Prairie Home Companion) -- all capped off with a kiddie penny carnival.

To say the kids had fun would be an understatement. Between the dressing up, the carnival games, the moon bounce, the cake walk (which A won!), the hot dog lunch and the prize table, it was pretty much a child's dream come true. And unlike previous years, when all of the entertainment was crammed into the social hall and it was all you could do to keep your under 4s from getting trampled, this time the games and entertainment were spread out throughout the building. It was, dare I say, fun.

Speaking of Purim, I've been recommending The Gilded Chamber for months. It--like The Red Tent--is a highly readable retelling of a famous Hebrew Bible story. In this case, it is a sexed-up story of the Megillah (the Purim story) from the perspective of Queen Esther, a Jewish woman who rises up from the harem to marry the king and save her people from the evil machinations of the king's advisor.

The Purim carnival wasn't our only entertainment this weekend. Friday night Z and I attended the First Grade Night Out at her elementary school, which consisted of an hour and a half of circle dancing in an 80 degree gymnasium. I had to strip off my sweater to avoid passing out, but it was a blast. And on Saturday Z and her dad accompanied some friends to see a community youth production of The Wizard of Oz while A and I enjoyed a rare day alone together. We hit up story time at the library and had a lunch date at Blue Max. Then she pretended to nap and I finished Mockingjay while we waited for her best buddy from preschool to come over for a playdate. Saturday night Josh and I left the girls with a sitter. We had wine and cheese at the Marion Street Cheese Market and then went to a local tennis club for a friend's 40th birthday party.