LP had a great time at her first Seder last night. She was very well-behaved and awake the entire time. She didn't mind being passed from person to person, having her cheeks pinched or kissed, or crawling between 20 pairs of feet. Her first tastes of brisket and matzoh balls and grandma's chicken soup were very well received. She even managed to win the hearts of all of my cousins, including those very far removed from having kids (at this point anyway). In fact, one of them was hoping to use her to pick up chicks.
Now that I have a family of my own, I feel even more strongly about the importance of family. Unfortunately, as people grow up, they also tend to relocate for work, or love, or a variety of other reasons. For instance, my brother and his family live on the west coast. Having them so far away really stinks. When we were growing up all of my cousins lived a car ride away and we would get together on major holidays or special occasions (like Passover) at my grandparents' houses. It makes me sad that LP will only have sporadic interaction with my brother's family. The good news is that they send us pictures often and we email. They have also traveled here to visit us several times and up until LP arrived we made our way to California once a year. I also use this blog as a way to keep them up to speed on our lives. So far it seems to be working.
On holidays though, it becomes even more apparent that there are empty seats at the table. In addition to my brother in Northern California, I have cousins in Oregon, Los Angeles and Boston that couldn't make the trip this year. And, while LP does have cousins that live locally in Connecticut that we see several times a month, this doesn't make up for her limited time with our nieces in California and Hungary. True, there were more potatoes for me this year, but I wouldn't mind less room and more love.