For the first time, I am not spending the Passover Seders with my nephew and nieces.
It's not that I don't want to. They have been busy learning all the Passover songs and traditions and I am always so proud to see them perform them, just as I did when I was their age. The Passover Seder is specifically designed to keep children asking questions and participating. Some say it's this way to keep the adults interested as well. Seeing the wonderment in the children's faces as they discover the story of the Exodus from Egypt all over again, puts a fresh spin on a centuries-old story we ourselves have heard for decades now.
Those of us Aunts who don't have kids of our own are able to delight in our nieces' and nephews' new discoveries all the time - whether it's a brand new toy, a new activity, or new crafty creation of their own. Their constant asking of "why," over things we take for granted, is amazing. Their excitement is inspiring and their inexperience and naïveté make us recall a time when the world was simpler.
Aunties are fortunate that we are able to experience the world anew through the eyes of our nieces and nephews. Their first word, their first step, their first school play, their first goal, their first award... all make us feel a warm sense of nostalgia for our own discoveries and accomplishments. Their glow of pride and amazement is infectious. From their first peek-a-boo giggle, we're hooked.
I'm not spending the Seders with the kids this year because I love the idea of hosting my friends and sharing my own customs in my own home. But my nephew and nieces have taught me a lesson in wonderment. This Passover, I will learn new traditions from my guests. I will ask questions I never thought to ask. I will eat from unleavened bread and recall a time when I myself was not yet fully baked. This Passover, I will experience a sense of wonder. That way, the kids will be with me after all.