Monday, January 24, 2011
An Open Letter to My Youngest Son
Dear Youngest Son,
It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed since your barmitzvah. The buildup is so huge and so extended .. and then suddenly it's over. What will never come to an end, however, is the pride we took in the way you rose to the occasion. You didn't stop at the usual maftir and haftorah, but carried on to conduct most of the rest of the service too. I know I'm biased, but I'm not the only person to say you were both word and note perfect. In fact you were awesome, utterly awesome.
Of course you didn't have to contend with sickness, like your big brother had to when it came to his barmitzvah. As he said in his speech, he gave you an i-pod - you gave him measles. But in spite of that, I know he was also bursting with pride at your achievements.
The party at your school went really well too, once again thanks to those wonderful friends who worked flat out with us to set up the atrium and put the finishing touches to the food in between the synagogue service and the evening. The temperature was Arctic, but the warmth emanating from the love around us was positively tropical. And once we started dancing, things certainly heated up.
Above all, it was a child-centred party, and that's just as it should be.
But how amazing that your grandpa was there, eh? He was 80 when your brother was born and 82 when you came along. I remember once, when you were toddlers, I saw him looking at you both with a wistful expression.
'Shame I won't get to see how these two turn out,' he said.
But there he was, aged 96 and still the baby in his family, as he has an older brother still toddling on. And as I said at the time, I reckon you've both turned out pretty well and I know my dad wholeheartedly agrees with me on that score.
We have so much to be grateful for and you and your brother are without doubt the greatest of our blessings. I'm sorry we have so few photos of the party due to our camera choosing that moment to give up the ghost. Luckily, the divine Ms Lemon took a few pix that we can share with others to give a small flavour of the event.
And that's it. We've used up the leftovers. (My mum always said that if everything went, you hadn't made enough.) I can put the files away, mothball the documents and spreadsheets and move onto being the mother of two adults (in Jewish terms only - don't go getting any ideas). It's possible I may never again have to cater a party for 180 people 'all by my very own self', as you used to say.
Except we now have to work through a vast 'thankyou' list ... But we certainly can't complain about that and I know how grateful you are to everyone.
It ain't over until the fat lady sings.