Around six weeks before school ended, Tech got glasses.
About two days later, he discovered girls.
I know this because at six weeks before the end of the academic year, I had printed out all the addresses and stuffed all the envelopes to be sent to everyone who was invited to attend his bar mitzvah.
“This is it,” I said, pointing to a 3-page list. “See that box over there?” I tilted my head towards a grey cube filled with envelopes. “Those are the people who are invited to your bar mitzvah. I’m taking them to the post office tomorrow, so you might want to take one more look. It’s your last chance to make any changes.”
I was thinking omissions. Cuts.
As in: That-kid-is-a-jerk-take-him-off-the-list.
Tech eyeballed the list and looked at me in horror.
Had I handed him the wrong list? I peeked over his shoulder. No, it was definitely the same list we had reviewed two weeks before. The same list he had given his ultimate super-duper stamp of approval.
Tech’s voice went up two octaves. “None of my girl friends are on the list!”
Then he barfed out ten girls’ names I’d never heard before.
“They have to be invited!” Tech waved his hands wildly. “Why aren’t they on the list?”
I wanted to tell him that he had never mentioned these girls, that the only girls he’d ever named in his life were the people connected to the families on the list.
But I didn’t.
We simply went through the school directory and gathered the extra names, addressed the additional envelopes, and affixed a few more stamps.
After we delivered the invitations to the post office, Tech and I sat in the car. His guard is often down in the car. I figured I’d give it a try. “That was a good snag on your part,” I smothered my son in compliments. “It’s weird that so many people weren’t on that last list. How do you think that happened?”
Tech had his nose in a book, so he spoke absently.
“I’m not sure.” He turned a page. “When I got glasses, a lot of blurry people suddenly came into focus. I guess I thought they were already on the list.”
He says he thought they were already on the list.
I say he had a testosterone surge with a side order of corrective eyewear.
In the end, nearly all of his friends – young men and young women alike — attended his bar mitzvah.
And he was beyond happy to celebrate with them.
How old were you when you noticed the opposite sex? And what do you remember about that time in your life?