Hey kids– remember me??
It’s good to be back! I’m finally coming up for air after a few months of nuttiness. I like the full-time job but it’s kicking my ass– lots of hours and intense focus required. I was producing our local “Listen to Your Mother,” show in May, and Aden became a bar mitzvah this past weekend.
Lots of planning, hours on the computer, and stress. I’d like to say I took it well, but I was a frazzled mess for much of the last month. I’d work 10 hours a day and read emails on the train home.
Aden practicing torah reading with our cantor
After dinner and getting the kids to bed, I’d be up til the wee hours working on the bar mitzvah video invitation, montage, invite list, and general party planning.
The invitation came out great, thanks to Aden’s swagger. You can watch it here.
We’re taking a trip to Israel with two sets of grandparents and my cousin and her boyfriend in August to celebrate Aden’s bar mitzvah. We’re going for 10 days with a guide and chose lots of outdoorsy activities seeing animals and sights, which Aden should love.
Because of the trip, we were trying to keep the local celebration low-key. But all of our family is out-of-town so we knew we’d be hosting meals and events all weekend, and low-key is hard for me when it comes to parties.
I like things to look a certain way. I wanted the celebration to be personal and make Aden feel special, without the dancers and a photo booth.
Thanks to the one and only Able Baker for the delicious and beautiful cake!
I think we accomplished all of this, but it required a lot of work and angst to get there. I’m happy with how it all turned out. But let’s just say I needed the help of my dutiful mother, a lot of friends, and Ambien. Even with the sleeping pill, I didn’t sleep more than 5-6 hours a night for weeks!
Aden was wonderful on the bimah, and our kiddush lunch was intimate and fun. We had some friends and family over for a backyard party Saturday night– which closely resembled a college keg party– and turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend.
At the end of the day, of course it’s really about the people and love in the room and we are so lucky to have amazing friends and family to share in our pride and joy in Aden.
I’ll blog again when I get the official photographer’s pix– my one regret from the weekend is that I did not take one photo. ACK! I was trying to be ‘in the moment’ and too distracted by all the people and planning.
But my mom took a few at the kiddush during the speeches.
Bar mitzvah candle lighting
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my speech to Aden… who was poised and charming through it all. Unlike my other two boys, Aden doesn’t like so much attention– which is why we planned the Israel trip– but he rose to the occasion in a big way– rocking a bow tie.
“Aden’s independent thinking and self-confidence from a very young age has always left me envious and made my heart swell with love and pride.
He’s a complicated dude.
He’s quiet and poker faced… extremely sensitive, thoughtful and sweet. He can be icy cold and pissed off one minute, and hugging and kissing you an hour later. He is my most challenging child– often stubborn, sometimes obstinate– and yet I know with unshakable certainty that he’s the one who will take care of me when I’m old.
He’ll play NBA on PS 4 all day, and read poetry in bed at night. Aden can tell you more about the two-toed sloth than you ever needed to know and play you ”Ode to Joy” on his guitar.
He’s a talented athlete, but always takes the field or court on his own terms. He plays hard and as a pitcher and point guard, handles pressure with ease and grace. While he may be hard on himself at times, he always supports his teammates and cheers them on.
He’s our own little Renaissance Man.
Jand E gave a short congrats speech to Aden.
One of the best parts of throwing a bar mitzvah and going through all the angst and stress is to celebrate your child at an important time in his life. We know who Aden is to us in our family, but now he’s a teenager and has his own place in the world and life outside of home that we sometimes know little about.
The teen years are a challenging time for kids – everyone’s trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. I love the opportunity to take a moment to recognize every part of Aden and celebrate what makes him special to so many people here today.
Anyone who’s planned one of these events knows how much time and energy it requires, and there may have been moments when I questioned why it’s necessary to have a big party to celebrate this milestone.
But then I saw Aden on the bimah working with the rabbi and cantor, reading Hebrew– focused, committed and unafraid. I listened to the words of friends and family describing him for the montage: compassionate, smart, funny. I watched him try on a suit, choose a bow tie, lace up man shoes, and nod approvingly in the mirror.
And I realized what we are celebrating is Aden growing, maturing, and becoming his own person.
Today– at least in Jewish tradition– he became a man. I can’t wait to see what kind of man he’ll be. I feel so lucky to be a small part of this Renaissance Man’s journey. I hope he carries the sweetness of this day throughout his life….and I hope his confidence and talents help him realize all his dreams.”
Mazel tov kid!