Coming of Age

Reflection is a typical outcome of all major life events. Last week was Jason’s Bar Mitzvah; a major life event for our family. As his Mom, the true barometer for success contains three parts: whether he performed the prayers and rituals with skill and confidence, mature and gracious in his behavior throughout the day, and, well,  did he have a blast at his party. I can happily say yes to all three of these parts. Jason was exuberant the entire day. As well as I think I know Jason, I was somewhat surprised by him too. In the last few rehearsals he stumbled a few times while reading, he seemed a little detached from the process. I know most kids are not excited to study their Hebrew for their Bar Mitzvah, but on some level I wasn’t sure if he was taking the whole thing as seriously as he should be. I had uncertainty. I’m not sure if it was just the typical nervous I’m planning a big event nervous, or if there was more to it. Either way, he stepped up and showed poise and composure. His demeanor truly embodied the purpose and significance of the day.

Interestingly enough lots of friends and family remarked at how well Bryan did at the Bar Mitzvah. I have to be candid, really? What were people expecting? I guess at this point I should learn that it is meant warmly, lovingly and not in some sort of judgment. I always go back to the idea of, if he was a typical boy would people say, he did a good job. It’s not fair, I know, but when it’s your kid, the sting of the difference never goes away. In any event, it’s my issue, not others because they love him, accept him and don’t see him all the time. If they offer up their kind words, I need to take that at face value and just be happy all of the feedback was positive.

Another very interesting emotion was with me last week. My mom has Alzheimer’s and while she was there with us and looked beautiful and elegant as she always does, she really was not a participant in the true sense of the word. For Jason, he is used to Grandma and so was just thrilled she was there and although he knows the difference between Grandma a few years ago and Grandma now, he takes every drop of love from her without thought or question. Another great quality of his, he loves fiercely and unconditionally all who love him. Ok I still haven’t gotten to the point yet. The point is somewhere in the day I had this realization that I am no longer my Mom’s little girl. I made the arrangements for the Bar Mitzvah without her, picked out my dress and shoes without her, and worked the room as if I was now a true adult. Sounds sort of silly at 52 but I’ve always had my parents there as parents. I have never had the feeling in my gut that wow, I’m now that adult person standing on my own. I would say this was both a good and heart wrenching feeling.

After the party, Jason’s 3 camp friends from up North and one of their Moms who is a great friend of mine came back with us and slept over. This part of the equation for the weekend was truly a treasure. Jason does not have many close relationships here so to watch him move with ease and laughter with his friends, sharing hysterical and inappropriate camp stories was fantastic on so many levels. He included Bryan in his activities with his friends and the boys were accepting; Bryan, however, was wiped from the day and went to bed early. I got into bed listening to the boys giggle and play video games. I slept well.

Now, a week plus later, it feels like a dream from a long time ago, but the kind of dream that you think about when you are driving, or just before falling asleep and remember with sweetness.


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