I feel like talking about something else today – and none of the things that I have been talking about. I want to talk about Sophie’s Bat Mitzvah – April 27, 2013. It seems as though the talk of Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s is multiplying daily. She got invited today to what will be her fourth between now and the middle of June. We have been to several others earlier in the year and expect several more soon. I have to admit that I am always excited to be invited – the thrill of an invitation, the nod that “yes, you are important to us,” never gets old for me.
I get even more excited when Sophie is invited to events for people we don’t know. That means that someone thought of her, my girl, included her on the final list, and want her to join them in celebration. I am proud she is someone people want to invite.
We have been spending some time talking about her day recently, and for some reason we have come up with nothing. We have had the date for years, given to us by our synagogue, and decided long ago that she would have an evening Bat-Mitzvah, a service we love for its intimacy and joy. It just feels more like “us” to us than rushing to get to a morning service that will be over before my morning caffeine has kicked in.
We know she will study, learn whatever she needs to learn, and perform wonderfully under pressure. I am not worried for one minute that she will not succeed. However, we are all stuck on how to celebrate Sophie. She is not asking for anything (except lots of chocolate) and she doesn’t want to follow the rest of her class to a traditional dance party. She isn’t a dancy girl, isn’t interested in the drama of it, and would prefer to just have fun. We are also clear on the fact that a $40,000 party is not something we can a) afford, b)want, or, c) think is valuable. There doesn’t seem to be a reason that one day, one party, one event for a 12-year-old girl should cost the same as adopting a baby, one entire year of college or five summers at camp!!!
Nevertheless, Sophie is a superstar. She is bright and shiny and deserves to be at the center of the world for one day. I know that after the Bat Mitzvah, time flies and she will be grown. I have seen it a million times. I want to preserve the time a little longer, hold onto her for just a few more minutes because no matter how old she gets, I feel like we never get back the time we missed with her. I want to go back and start from the beginning and do it all again, only better.
Next April, behind the smiling faces (forever memorialized in a leather-bound photo album created by Baruch Schwartz, Photographer) is really a story that is nothing short of miraculous. But for fate or luck or divine intervention, our beautiful, smart, funny Sophie would be alone and abandoned living still in a freezing cold Russian orphanage. She is not. She is here, with us, sleeping in her gigantic bed, under warm fuzzy purple blankets. And now, as I sit downstairs on my comfy couch in my home so fortunately filled with two not-so-ordinary children, I have the luxury of planning a party, as big or small as we want… but it still must be one that reflects all that we are as a family… and that is proving to be no small task!