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.

14 comments:

Jen HE said...

What a lovely, moving letter, Debi. I'm pleased you all had such a lovely time - it sounds like an event that your son will remember for ever. And how wonderful that your dad was there to enjoy it. A baby at 96 - fantastic!

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

How amazing that your Dad was there. Oh my what a super mum you are.

fiona said...

crying as I read this letter, you know why.
Whatever Jacob and Jo do, they will do it great, and why? because they have such caring and lovely people as parents. Isaacs haftorah on the face of it I thought was really dry, the re-building of the temple, but actually its become a lot more than that to me. Its about a pushky being put in the temporary temple. Every man (not woman-note)regardless of riches had to put in half a shekel for upkeep and building of a permanent temple.They achieved something great as a whole team, even the less rich of the people.This is you, and your gorgeous boys.Love you.x

Debi said...

Thank you Jen and Michele.
Fi - the meaning is always there, even if it sometimes takes some finding. You know what I wish for all of you.

Queenie said...

How very, very fabulous. Your older son's comment made me grin! Really glad it went so well for you all.

Sue Guiney said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes -- and I just put on my mascara :-) What a beautiful, beautiful letter. And how incredibly generous of you to share it with us. I think you did good, pal....

Whisks said...

Lovely to read, thanks Debi - and doesn't he look like you!

Debi said...

Thanks, Queenie, Sue and Whisks. How special you all are.

Fi - I was thinking today. What you describe is an early version of 'from each according to their means, to each according to their needs'. Now where have I heard that before???

Tania Hershman said...

Debi, what a beautiful thing to write, your son is probably embarassed by it but if you were my mother, I would be glowing! So glad it went so well and what a wonderful thing that your father, the baby of the family, was there too!

Debi said...

Thanks, Tania. It's my job to embarrass my kids, so hopefully I've succeeded here.

BarbaraS said...

Can I just say, 'Aw' - sorry I missed when you posted this: I remember FB's being such an event in itself, I had been looking out for number two's. Glad to hear that it was such a good day for everyone concerned, and really nice to see a picture of the two generations squeezed together. Fair play, Debi, children are an enjoyable work-in-progress and their coming-of-age is always a moment to feel proud, of them, and yourself too.

Debi said...

Cheers, Babs. I did giggle at 'looking our for nuber two's'. Just as well that apostrophe was there ...

Watches said...

What a moving letter! Appreciate your sharing this content.

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