I have noticed something strange. When ever my married sons come to visit for the weekend, I invariably cook nicer and fancier foods for shabbas (the Sabbath). The question is “why?”. I mean, aren’t the children living at home and my husband equally deserving of the same things?
I suspect that part of it has to do with the fact that when there are more “eaters”, it gives me more flexibility in the number of dishes I can prepare and expect not to be loaded with an inordinate amount of leftovers. And, as much as I hate to admit it, part of the “extra” cooking has to do with my pride and wanting to impress/please my daughters-in-law. And occasionally it has to do with the pleasure I get when one of my married sons is served a home-made favorite food, one of those gastronomic triggers of memories of “home”. A final reason is that usually the “couples” will come at the time of a holiday, so there is the added impetus to cook something special for “yom tov” (the holiday).
But my son who is in the army is home for most weekends as well. And he has also moved up to the “privileged” class. I am more likely to bake homemade challahs (loaves of bread for the Sabbath), and I am more likely to bake pizza for Thursday evening dinner than I am when he is not coming. Just as with his older brothers, I enjoy seeing his face light up when he sees that I am baking challahs. But here I feel that a big part of it has to do with the fact that I feel that after a week or two of army victuals, he is entitled to some treats. But there is, I think, a third reason as well. Every weekend, at least some of the small jobs I have asked other members of the family to attend to (but which haven’t gotten done), suddenly get taken care if. The life of a soldier has made him much more aware than his siblings that “If you don’t do your part, the whole group suffers….”. If my soldier-son can’t do it himself, he can usually convince his brothers to do their share of the household’s running. So I really look forward to his coming for the weekend (I would ANYWAY, but this makes it even more so….), and I naturally react accordingly.