Where have I been?
Well, bat mitzvah weekend – not a ceremony, not a party, a weekend – blasts off in just ten days. I kept thinking it was longer; someone would say, “wow, just a month now,” and I’d wave them off, no no, much longer. Plenty of time. Then Josie would say “three weeks!” and I’d laugh. Come now, it’s not. Then, a few days ago, a friend said “getting close, huh? Under two weeks.”
I said holy mother of kugel, you’re right. And after I stopped nail-biting and rocking in the corner, I came out swinging – and this is where I’ve been:
Buying candy and snacks and granola bars for guest bags. Punching holes in guest bags.
Ribboning guest bags.
Spray-painting 45 cake boards silver. By the time it was over, I resembled the victim of a Bond villain. Also, it’s a good thing I’m done having kids, because I now require an iron lung.
Uh – making liqueurs.
That’s right – making liqueurs. Orange Spice, Blackberry, and Lemon. I read somewhere that in the old country – and I don’t mean Chicago – families made their own to serve at celebrations. This rang a warm little bell in my heart, and the other night, smashing blackberries, funneling vodka, it felt good – part haute, part Hasid, part hillbilly. The bottles are taking a nice dark nap before their debut. I’ll let you know if we go blind.
Josie’s busy preparing for her big show, but at twelve-almost-thirteen, you won’t be shocked to hear she has limited attention. What attention she does have is saved for friends, who are endlessly fascinating, rather than mom, who’s looking to paste place cards. She cuts, she glues, she snacks on chocolate, she leaves and comes back. A friend calls and she leaves again. If she faces me for five minutes and appears to be listening for two, I’m happy.
Where I have not been is blogging. I fret about that, and if Josie happens to pass during fretting, she’ll say “whatever, Mom. Just say you’ll see them after the 30th, when you’ll give them the biggest, best post ever.”
“Really,” I say, “and who’s going to write it, you?”
But she’s gone in a hair swing – handful of gummi bears, phone at her ear. It’s me and a book bag, dropped on the floor.
This bat mitzvah thing – it’s a celebration of growing up, or at least thinking about growing up. And past the candy and trimmings, dinners and brunches, it’s all about a girl who doesn’t have the time right now – but someday, I know, she will.
She might think of dad measuring cardboard for candy boxes, and handing pieces to mom, and mom cutting and folding and wrapping in paw paper, for god’s sake. She’ll roll eyes and remember, it was crazy. They were crazy. She might also remember that it all happened because she was there, and had a special something, and we told her so every day. By then it might make sense. Anyway, I like to think we’ve reserved a future moment – who wouldn’t want a gift-wrapped, stashed-away spark?
A girl so special she gets the glittery place card.
Who glued it? One of us who’s not on the phone, that’s who. But the other one, she of the rolling eyes and socks on the floor – thinking about growing up is hard. She deserves it.
Jean, spoiling that kid.