Last weekend, the boys and I went to our first bat mitzvah, which began in a temple and turned into the best party I’ve been to in a long time. Beach theme. Burgers, hot dogs and deliciously salty hushpuppies. Dancing with a DJ and someone hired to lead line dances and teach the boys some break-dancing moves. A tattoo booth, a photo booth, skee ball, a carousel. A “penny candy” table as a fill-your-own favor bag.
The day gave us a number of new experiences. Our eight year old wore a tie for the first time. All three boys donned Carolina blue yamakas. They listened to songs in Hebrew. They made new friends. They bore witness to someone their age give a speech she write herself about values and community. My twelve year old danced until almost midnight without going near the slew of thirteen year old girls on the dance floor.
I expected there would be much to talk about. Instead, as we walked back to the car that night….
“Most of those girls look like they’re in college,” said the oldest, who spent most of the night sitting with me.
“And some of those dresses were totally inappropriate,” said his puritanical brother.
Though they did not speak or dance with the girls, they were apparently quite aware of them.