In any case, we had a really awesome first seder. I aimed to keep it focused on the kids and besides for both sets of grandparents joining us, we also had a friend of mine who's a single mom, with her 4 year old.
My mother had made the first few plagues with the kids using big construction paper and craft stuff on large sticks, we had plague finger puppets from last year, and I bought those awesome glasses for the plague of darkness for each kid in the dollar section of Target.
They were so excited and when it came time to ask the four questions, my daughter stood up nice and proud and sang it so well! She looked ready and confident and proud as can be. She had been waiting for this moment. It struck me then how big she really is. Last year she sung it well too, actually, but this year, I could tell she was more involved and into it.
It made me realize though, that it's not just our kids that need that inspiration and hands on involvement. Truth be told, once we reached the story part of the Seder, I quietly excused myself and went to take a nap upstairs for about a half hour. Besides for being exhausted, I just could not sit through the entire thing and read Hebrew! I didn't even feel really bad because I knew that I had done my job as a hostess and mom. I also recognized that I'm no longer at a stage where I can just read, read, read without some interaction. My brain capacity and patience and very limited and I just wasn't up to it.
The second night, I really tried to convince my husband to skip a lot of the wording but apparently that's not really ideal. However, it did prompt a discussion on what the point of all the lengthy discussion was as well as how to make it more engaging and interesting for everyone, since the second night was filled with our families and friends, and quite a large crowd. With a mixture of my husband's speed and my summarizing of the different lengthy parts, we managed to make it pretty enjoyable. It was also good for me to notice that I was much more interested when I took on the role of explaining and summarizing.
As moms with busy lives and kids vying for our attention all the time, it's really important to find the ways that keep us interested in our family customs and religious activities and know that we can't do everything the same way we used to. That's okay too! But we do have to keep ourselves into things enough so we can pass it along to our kids with enthusiasm.