Facebook Advice Before The Bar Mitzvah

A few months ago, after her daughter had just made her bat mitzvah, my friend Jill held my hands in hers and gave me some advice. She said:

“On your son’s day, don’t look in the book. I mean it. Just look at him. You can read the words and old day and you know the prayers and songs by heart. But just watch him. Watch him watching everyone. Don’t miss anything. Trust me on this.”

Jill is one of my wise friends.

Friday afternoon, I asked a last-minute question of my Facebook friends.

My former camp counselor wrote:

I love this piece of advice, how Betsy’s words echo Jill’s, and I plan to put aside my prayer-book, and just watch my son.

Admire the person he is and the man he is becoming.

(I will look and look and look at my boy even if it freaks him out.)

I will also breathe, enjoy the moment, keep my legs crossed during the hora, enjoy the moment and remember the significance of the moment.

Maybe I’ll even have a little something besides my standard Canada Dry Ginger Ale with a lime.

And what was that other thing?

Oh yeah, enjoy it.

Thanks to everyone for your comments emails and sweet tweets  — from the ridiculous to the sublime — wishing our family well.

I promise I will write you something fun after I get Tech packed and shipped off to summer camp have had a little time to clean up my kitchen process. It’s amazing how many of my brain cells have been reallocated from writing to other creative endeavors like cutting hundreds of triangles and making elaborate stickers and stuffing test tubes with M&Ms.

It will not involve masturbation.


What do you think? Is this advice good for any event where friends and family will collide? Anything you would add?

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11 responses to “Facebook Advice Before The Bar Mitzvah

  1. I pray that it was even better than you planned.


  2. And? How did it feel, watching your son officially be welcomed as a man?


  3. I hope you enjoyed the lagniappe.


  4. I love reading everyone’s perspective.
    That’s the thing about huge occasions, because they require so much attention it’s easy to let it fly by without enjoying it. Sounds like you’ll be storing it away in your heart.


  5. Congratulations to Tech – and to you, Mom! I sure hope you took all that advice to Enjoy It! Moments like this pass by in a blink, don’t they? I can’t wait to hear all about it.


  6. Like Ellie, I hope you forgot about all the preparations once it began and just enjoyed it. May God bless you and your family.


  7. Beautiful, universal advise. The moment we get caught up in franticism, we lose focus of what really matters. Hope you had a glorious time!


  8. Ha ha! I cannot WAIT to hear all about it; I know Tech Support made you proud. And look at all those wonderful words of advice and support!

    I hope you’re sleeping in and um… sleeping?



  9. Can’t wait to hear details!


  10. I, too, cannot wait to hear about it all…

    This post went up on my son’s 15th birthday so I am just reading it now.

    I spent my entire weekend watching him and not looking at the computer.

    I know. Turning 15 is not the same thing. At all.

    And yet.


  11. “It will probably not involve masturbation. Probably. What do you think? Is this advice good for any event where friends and family will collide?”

    I think this is excellent advice. Masturbation, friends AND family just do not mix well.


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