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Feb 26

On the day before the bat mitzvah

I’m in tears already.  It’s not yet six thirty, and the idea that we’re here, that it’s tomorrow… There’s still so much to do, I can’t find Sam’s shirt or tie or suitcoat, I have to buy tights for me, and Jessie, and all the plasticware, and decorate everything and today’s going to be a frantic mess.

And tomorrow… it’s here.

I’m not ready to have my daughter be a Jewish adult.

I know that I am, in theory.  I know that “Jewish adult” doesn’t mean actual adult.  I know that she’s not moving out tomorrow – but it’s almost more significant for me than if she was just moving out.  (I know that’s a lie, just flash forwarded to the day that baby moves out and started crying for real).  But this whole “taking responsibility for yourself” thing is a BIG deal for me.

So much of this past year (past 13 years) has been about transferring the power over to her.  She has to be the one in charge of her life.  From deciding what to eat, what to wear, when to do your homework, which friends to have, what to think, all of that is hers.  I mean, it was, all the time, but she had to learn how to do it.   And taking responsibility for yourself, spiritually, is a really big deal for me.

I think because there was so much weight on this decision.  The whole concept of deciding on a religious foundation for her, for them, was such a struggle, and this is what it was all about.  It almost feels like we spent years and years agonizing over this, over deciding what we wanted for our children – and this is the end result.  She’s going to stand up there, in front of everyone we love, and take ownership over her own relationship with God.  She’s going to say “This is who I am, this is what I want, and I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for me.  But I’m ready now to take it to the next level, to be who I am and to define Judaism on my terms.”

I know I’m projecting, I know her biggest thing is that she’s hoping she won’t pass out or vomit up on the bima.

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