The balls of my feet are worn. My limbs feel like they weigh about 800 pounds. I lost my voice and temporarily a bit of hearing. My mind is spinning like a jukebox of images on steroids, flipping a new memory every few seconds. My heart is ready to burst. I am hung over with happiness.
There are so few days in life completely devoted to celebrating growth, family and love. This past weekend Chase had his Bar Mitzvah — and all the people who love him most were there with us — in person and in spirit – to pay tribute to what a great kid he has become. We – and he – will never have this chance again. So we made sure to get it right.
Let’s face it. For many, the Jewish rite of passage into adulthood — the Bar Mitzvah — is often misconstrued as something to poke fun at. Some may view it as a Jewish family’s excuse to have a really big party. Others see it as a punch line in some stand up comedian’s schtick, complete with descriptions of pre-pubescent boys with bad haircuts, ill fitting suits, and awkward smiles. And I guess for some folks, that is reality.
But not for us.
For us, the day was pretty magical and ranks ups there as one of the best of our lives. I can take credit for only the logistics. The rest of the joy came from others. Much of it came from Chase.
On a daily basis, parenting is often tedious, and rarely awe inspiring. I have spent so much of my time over the last 13 years creating, teaching and nurturing this child (and his brother) that I hardly noticed that much of the work had already been completed.
Yet still, the thought of Chase being ushered into adulthood on many levels is ludicrous. He is not a “man” – nor do I think he wants to be anytime soon. There are still plenty of lessons to be taught and learned, wounds to tend, and milestones to celebrate. But watching Chase take on a very grown up task, and complete it with grace, meaning and humor made me feel certain that the foundation of adulthood has been forged in my son, despite my numerous attempts to completely screw him up. And I might have missed this realization had it not been for this fabulous day.Enjoy them while they are young. Time goes too fast. Carpe diem. Stop and smell the roses. Family is what really matters.
As much as I understand the importance of these mantras, I fail daily at living a life that honors them. There is always something else “more pressing” to do. But not this weekend. Those who were able to join us were so gracious in thanking us for including them. However, the gratitude is all mine. There wasn’t a person there whose presence didn’t make my heart sing.
This weekend was about family. And dear friends. And love.Our most important possessions are our memories. In nothing else are we rich, in nothing else are we poor.
How blessed I feel to have had the chance to reflect on the warmest memories of my son – and create new ones in the span of a few short days.
Here’s a look back at Chase with a montage that Dave put together. It’s a celebration of a really sweet boy whose future shines as bright as his smile.