This Passover, make yourself a guest at your parents’ house

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Jacob Schaperow, editor-in-chief, @jschap1 

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When I was in Israel during Passover several years ago, I stayed with my mother’s friend’s family. While there were things that I missed about Passover at home, such as my parents’ cooking, the usual haggadahs and our seder traditions, spending the holiday away from home for the first time gave me a new perspective on family that I would like to share:

It is cliché, but family are the friends that you don’t get to choose. People tend to behave differently (worse) around their family because after all, they have to love you even if you are disagreeable. We know that our parents are our number one advocates, but we do not always treat them that way.

My host family fed me, took me on day trips and displayed concern for my welfare. I felt indebted to them, and I never turned down an opportunity to help them do the dishes or carry in groceries.

All I could think for the first few days was, “I’d better buy a gift to give to my host family.” How many parents expect their college student to come home for Passover bearing a bouquet of flowers or a box of kosher for Passover desserts?

As a senior moving out of state after graduation, the number of Passovers when staying at my parents house means “coming home” is severely limited. Even if you are not a senior or will be living at home after graduation, the current Passover dynamic will come to an end before long.

We are trained to put on our best behavior when we are guests, but not always around people who love us unconditionally. I hope that each person who reads this can imagine himself or herself as a guest at his or her parents’ house this Passover. How would you act differently?
Jacob Schaperow is a senior civil engineering – environmental and water resources major. He can be reached at jacob.schaperow@gmail.com.

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