I heard from my old pal
Jennifer O’Connell today. She was
eating a chocolate chip cookie and thought of me. How odd. When she asked
me what I was doing, I said, “Oh, just editing some stuff,” but I think she
might have suspected something. It got really quiet all of a sudden on my end
as soon as I found the remote. Jennifer
writes 30 books at a time so I tried not to let on how much I’m not writing
these days. I’m not one to do two
things at once and Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah has been consuming me pretty much from
the minute I wake up until I go to bed. All the planning is done. Now I just sit around and daydream about
it. This takes the whole day and a good
part of the evening.
I imagine him up there, speaking Hebrew and trying not to laugh
with his friends in the front row. And then my mind always cuts to the party
–where I envision myself in the coat closet all night. I was hoping to be a part of the festivities
but Jesse made it clear that he would like me to hide for most of the evening.
“Where do you want me to
go?” I asked.
“You don’t have to
leave. Just don’t dance or anything.”
I really like dancing, but I
like Jesse more, and I get why he would prefer if I wait in the car. It’s because even though, technically, he
will be a man on September 16, he’s a thirteen-year-old man. What thirteen-year-old man wants to see his fully-grown
mom partying? I certainly can’t think of any.
I’ve been to Bar Mitzvahs that were mistakenly designed to impress
adults with very little attention paid to what a thirteen year old boy wants on
his big day. I’ve heard the kids come home from these events complaining about
the adults’ long, boring speeches or that there was no room for the kids on the
dance floor or that all the adults were drunk out of their minds and making
fools of themselves. And so, instead of being insulted or thinking my son
doesn’t love me, I’ve decided to let him have his space and his own celebration
with his friends, not mine. These
parties are supposed to be for children.
That’s why I will have my
own party –in the bathroom. Any of the
few relatives who I did invite are welcome to join me in there. I’ll be in the stall with the loud music and
the bottles of tequila all over the floor, dancing, reading my speech.