The Jewish calendar still doesn't come naturally to me. Since we don't have Jewish family and we still haven't joined a temple, we don't have traditions to lean on. And Reform Judaism really is about finding your own meaning in the rituals and holidays. It's hard to do on your own and we have really begun by each year layering on more observance. I guess we figure that when we find the right amount for us we'll know it.
As a side note, this seems to really piss of some people--none of whom are Jewish. Because to this segment of the population the whole point of Judaism is to keep kosher? I don't really understand their point really, except that they all happened to be Christian (though by no means are all Christians like this) and they would get het up about us not keeping over 200 commandments when I can say without assurance that those assholes weren't even really keeping up with their ten.
All of this means that last night was the first night of Passover and well . . .I had ice cream for dinner. We didn't go to a Seder (and fuck it, next year we are going to a couple of community Seder and I am attaching myself to old Jewish ladies until one teaches me how to make matzo ball soup!). But this year we are keeping a very wavy gravy HI WE ARE CONVERTS version of kosher for Passover. Which means we are eating in the Sephardic tradition (no grains but hell yes I am eating beans and corn), but not actually separating meat and dairy. And well, I am taking the baby to my parents' house on Sunday (for our interfaith SPRING DINNER) and there will be ham. Oh and probably bacon.
I actually do find meaning in given up the grains. It makes you thoughtful about what you are eating. Not just in the GODDAMN everything has wheat in it way (though it does and I really really want a brownie), but it makes you feel connected to a tradition. And to people around the world. Today I ate peanut butter on matzoh and knew that people around the world were doing the same. There is something to that, though I am not sure that it makes me feel closer to God. It does make me feel something for others. Which can only be a good thing.
Maybe next year I will host my own Seder. Or keep separate meat and dairy. Hell, maybe I will give up bacon! Anything is possible. I know we will find the place where we have meaning for our family. And we'll keep those traditions with our daughter. So when she is older, whether she stays Jewish or not, she will carry that with her.
But it's hard to do it on our own.