The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah


Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on December 12, 2011

…and so it begins.

Eva went to her first peer-group bat mitzvah a couple of weeks ago.  Eva is only nine and truthfully was probably invited because she is in the same choir with the bat mitzvah girl, but an invitation is an invitation, and of course she attended.

Driving up, we heard the pulsating sounds of “Tik Tok” coming from the social hall.  Minivans idled at the curb as parents dropped kids — mostly girls in party dresses with a smattering of older girls in hoochie-short skirts and a handful of boys too.

Yes, this was a boy-girl event.  A couple of days before, I’d asked Eva if boys were invited, and she said she didn’t know.  Eva is in fifth grade, which is the cusp of boy-girl interest.  Many of these kids are eighth graders, so they’re right in the thick of things.  Old enough to be interested, but too young to know what to do with that interest.  It’s a crazy time.

So anyway, I didn’ t want to crowd Eva.  She was thrown into a brand new situation this year and jumped right in bravely and confidently.  She’s making friends and doing well.  I don’t want to be that mom sitting in the corner yoohoo-ing at her while she’s trying to socialize.

But, because the temple is 45 minutes from home, it seemed silly to drive all the way down to drop her off, then drive home, only to turn around and drive there and back a couple of hours later.  Hence:  stakeout!

In the right frame of mind, I love a good stakeout type scenario.  For instance, when I know I’m going to be sitting for five hours having my car repaired, I pack a book, newspapers and crossword puzzles, snacks, knitting, and paperwork.  It’s actually almost kind of fun, especially if it only happens rarely.

But this night, I wasn’t feeling it.  I was tired, for starters.  It was cold and my I just wanted to curl up on the couch with the dog watching Die Harder.

What’s more, Poway rolls up the sidewalks at about 8 p.m., even on a Saturday night.  The one weird Starbucks stayed open until 9 but the only other customers were two Vietnam vets having a cup of coffee after their drug abuse support group.  I browsed in Target bu then they shut down too.  The grocery store was open until 10 and if I were as organized as my friend Kiersten (who has FIVE kids including her youngest three who are triplets!), I’d have taken advantage of the free time to complete my grocery shopping.

Instead, I did a stake-out, periodically moving my car to warm it up and run the seat-warmers.  (In my defense it was in the high 20s!)  I ended up huddled under the dog’s army blanket, draped in layers of a lost-and-found Tony Hawk sweatshirt and an old beach towel.

I kept texting her, with broad hints like, “Ready yet?”  She’d text back, tersely: ” DONT COME B4 11.”

When I drove up, the first thing I noticed was a boy and girl hugging in the parking lot.  OMG boys & girls!  My baby is only NINE!

Inside, kids were playing games organized by a DJ and partaking of the chocolate fountain.  There were custom airbrushed t-shirts and a photo booth that made cool flip books as take-home favors.  It was all a bit overwhelming…for me.  From Eva’s perspective, it’s all just great.  We’d talked a bit about possibly having her bat mitzvah in Israel, but after her first taste of all the best California’s simcha DJs have to offer, she wants to have a big party with friends instead.


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