Let’s face it—the overwhelming task of planning a bar or bat mitzvah ranks right up there with hosting a wedding. No wonder parents need a honeymoon after the whirlwind weekend celebration is over. After all, a bar or bat mitzvah is a sacred rite of passage for moms and dads who witness before their very eyes how their teen in a tallit makes the symbolic transition into adulthood.
If there’s one thing I learned from my son Jack’s bar mitzvah 15 months ago, besides never wear new shoes without breaking them in first, is try not to stress over the small stuff because when it’s over all that’s left is wonderful memories and a box full of satin monogrammed kippots. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Jack’s bar mitzvah, and my son is one year closer to his driver’s permit. Since his passage into adulthood, I seem to have more time on my hands. No more countless hours spent on rehearsing speeches and aliyahs, playing musical chairs with the seating chart, driving to tutor sessions, and making life or death decisions, such as whether to serve chicken versus sirloin kabobs at the kiddish luncheon. Continue reading
I don’t consider myself a procrastinator, unless, of course, the chore has something to do with cleaning out the freezer. When I have a job to do, I get it done. Usually.
For example, my son asks me to find him a girdle to wear at football practice. Done. Sari requests a kosher salami sandwich with mayonnaise in her school lunch. Done. My husband’s trousers are ready for pickup at the dry cleaners. Done. The dog needs a haircut. Done. I have to write a story on the benefits of Torah yoga. Done.
One thing I can’t seem to get done is my son’s bar mitzvah photo album.
If there’s one thing I learned at Jack’s bar mitzvah, besides never wear new shoes without breaking them in first, is that I can’t control some things in life. For example, I can’t control the weather and whether the rain will allow Jack’s baseball friends to attend his party. Also, I can’t control the health of people and whether they will be sick or well enough to physically be there for the special time in my son’s life. Continue reading
By the time you read this column, Jack’s bar mitzvah will be over. No more sleepless nights playing musical chairs with seating charts. For more than a year now, I’ve been writing about this upcoming Jewish milestone in my son’s life. What am I going to talk about now—matza brei? Continue reading
For those of you who watched my camping webisode on www.inthemotherhood.com, I just want to make one thing clear: I DO NOT have a tattoo anywhere on my body, unlike the portrayal of Leah Remini’s character. Actually, I have a freckle on my—never mind. Hollywood will do anything for a laugh.
Okay, back to reality and the bar mitzvah. As the big day approaches, my dining room table disappears underneath a hodgepodge of paper goods, yarmulkes, party favors, platters, snacks, reply cards, place cards, and so many Judaic items that I’m ready to open up my own gift shop. Continue reading
Every night before I fall asleep clutching my body pillow, I make a list in my head of things to do for the next day. I don’t recommend this bedtime ritual for insomniacs, by the way. My random thoughts might include: Go to the bank/grocery store; drop off Luci at the groomer; write a story that makes half sense; meet girlfriends for lunch; attend variety show rehearsal; find Jack ride to basketball practice; take Sari to Hebrew school; help with school science fair; make doctor’s appointment; clean the basement; buy new indoor soccer shoes; revise menu with caterer; save the environment; and, oh yeah, lose weight for the upcoming bar mitzvah. Continue reading
I’m working on my speech for Jack’s upcoming bar mitzvah, and it’s harder to write than I thought. I mean, how can I adequately put down into words my uttermost feelings of pride and joy for my first born, who has now reached a new status within Judaism. It seems like only yesterday when my son was eating soggy Cheerios with his fingers. Wait a minute…that was yesterday. Continue reading
Like I was saying…At no greater time in a child’s life is a Jewish connection more important than adolescence. So why are so many teens tempted to abandon the tribe after they’ve worked so hard on their bnei mitzvahs? I mean, if I remember correctly, the teenage years are tough enough without having a peer group to identify with. Yet for some reason, after the thank-you notes are written and the gift cards are spent, many young Jewish adults blend back into the melting pot of society and lose their Jewish selves. Continue reading