Last night I closed all the open files that had monopolized my computer screen for weeks.  The directions to the synagogue for the guests, the table settings, the photo montage of Noah, the songs for the DJ to play, the to-do lists that kept changing – they all went into the archives perhaps to be reopened in two years when it is Chase’s turn.  Upstairs the boys bickered over video games; Dave sacked out on the couch with the dog and watched the Phillies.  I sat at my computer with tears in my eyes and thought about the weekend.

It was pure magic.

Those who know me know that Disney-esque melodramatic expressions like the one above are not a regular part of my vernacular.  But 48 hours after Noah’s Bar Mitzvah I am still walking several feet off the ground and those cartoon bluebirds are flying around my head, tweeting happy tunes.  The planning paid off and the ceremony and party went off without a major hitch.  But that isn’t what made it all so special.

Sure Noah was brilliant and comfortable and fun – as I knew he would be.  Sure the service was beautiful and left everyone in happy tears.  Sure the catering and the DJ and the centerpieces and the photographer were spectacular and did everything we hired them to do.  And sure it happened to be a beautiful day.  Sunshine replaced the gusty winds we were promised.  But we didn’t need it.  We basked in the glow of the family and dear friends  — a cross section of our shared lives comprised of those who share a love for our son.

They descended from points near and far.  Relatives came in from New England, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. Our college friends and their children traveled from around the country, some flying in from Ohio and California.  Locally, soccer games were missed, dog sitters were hired, kids left college and everyone put their lives on hold for the weekend to share a time in our lives that comes only once.  The children bonded; the grown-ups reconnected.  And we ate and talked and laughed and toasted and danced.

Today we go back to the daily routine.  Kids have homework and activities.  Dave has a classroom of kids and I have a full inbox of emails to answer.  But nothing feels the same.  It’s as if someone sprinkled happiness on our shoulders, reminding us that we are blessed with something that can’t be found on any to-do list.  We are blessed with love.

The Penn Gang and Kiddos Pose for an After Party Photo

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