And A Wonderful Time Was Had By All

nsshere’s Bat Mitzvah was yesterday.

She did wonderfully, and she pwned it. It was her Bat Mitzvah, and it reflected her completely. She led the service perfectly, read Torah and Haftorah perfect, and just took charge of it. After a hesitant first prayer, you could just see her confidence grow and grow and grow.

Her speeches were delightful, and perhaps I can persuade her to post them here. In her D’var Torah (interpretation of the Torah), she talked about why she chose the verses about Jacob’s death and his burial back in Caanan. Her theme was “respect”, and how one of the hallmarks of being an adult is learning to show respect. Her actual speech was uniquely her, and went into why she did her Bat Mitzvah (as opposed to what I did, as I didn’t want to learn Hebrew). She indicated that she didn’t do it for the religious aspects, nor for us, but for herself. She did it to show herself that she could do it.

At this point, I should note that not once during the process did I have to remind her to study her prayers or portions, nor to write her speeches. We didn’t have to nag her once about studying with the rabbi or cantor. She did it all on her own initiative.

The reception went beautifully (I’ll share some pictures once I get them back). Although she was initially hesitant to use the social hall, it worked out wonderfully. We had spectacular centerpieces and posters on the wall (the decision to use a decorator [Ramon at Linen Lenders] was well worth it — and cheaper than flowers would have been, I later learned). The entertainment [Dan T. from The Party Zone] was directed by nsshere: instead of the continuous loud dancing, the focus was more on drama. We had loads of improvization games, a bit of singing, a few dances. The music was kept toned down, and no one complained. The food [from Scott T. at Silver Spoons] was wonderful and enjoyed by all. It was the first time I’ve thrown a big party, and we received lots of compliments from our guests for it.

After the party, we had some select friends back to the house, where we had some additional food catered by Brents. This too was wonderful (although my headache was building — not a surprise). But it was a fun evening.

After the after-party, I collapsed. I took some meds for my headache, and went to bed… and didn’t get up until the next day.

At this point, we have leftover food (quite a bit), a bunch of centerpieces in the living room, and nsshere has loads of thank you notes to write.

Looking back, I have complained about the cost of this event. I won’t give specific numbers, but it was expensive. It wasn’t one of the big big shindigs you hear about that run more than $25,000 (yes, folks do spend that much, and even more), but it was a good chunk of change. Catered parties do add up (in addition to the Temple fees for the education). Was it worth it? I think so. I think that doing this process was one of the big things that changed our little girl into the remarkable and mature young woman she is. It taught her about responsibility, how to be her own person and how important that is. It taught her that she doesn’t have to necessarily follow the glitz and the trends to have a good time.

I am so proud of my daughter.