On April 22, 2016, Becca and Ian turned 13. A milestone for us as well as in the Jewish religion.
|Morning of April 22, 2016|
|Caddie even needed to get in on the festivities of the day.|
According to Jewish law, when Jewish boys become 13 years old, they become accountable for their actions and become a bar mitzvah. A girl becomes a bat mitzvah at the age of 12 according to Orthodox and Conservative Jews, and at the age of 13 according to Reform Jews. Prior to reaching bar/bat mitzvah age, the child's parents hold the responsibility for educating their children, but not directly for their actions. After this age, the boys and girls bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition, and ethics, and are able to participate in all areas of Jewish community life. In addition to being considered accountable for their actions from a religious perspective, b'nai mitzvah may be counted towards a minyan (prayer quorum) and may lead prayer and other religious services in the family and the community. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/).
We didn't do much on their actually birthday knowing that we had the big day coming up...in addition to their birthday, April 22nd was the beginning of Passover. The big week started off on Wednesday, May 4th for Becca and I...the manicures and pedicures were a must. We had a great time spending time together...Becca decided that she wanted her nails orange...and who was I to stop her...after all it was her day.
Thursday, May 5th was time for pictures with the grandparents. As you may remember, a few months back we did some formal pictures just the 4 of us to have...just in case things changed before the big day.
Friday, May 6th, started off as a very relaxing day. Brian and I took Becca out for breakfast before running some errands to get ready for Shabbat dinner. Afterwards, some naps were had before getting ready for dinner. It was a wonderful night with the grandparents, aunt and some cousins.
Saturday, May 7th, during the day, was a normal Saturday for us. Becca went horseback riding. Ian got his bath (he usually has them on Sunday but this week switched it). Brian and I took care of the kids and tried to relax. Saturday, late afternoon, we had our friends who came in from a far, over to get in some quality time. After all, we knew we weren't going to get in any time on Sunday. Dinner, drinks and laughs were had. It was wonderful to be able to catch up with friends we have not seen in years.
Sunday, May 8th...the day was finally here. It started off early in our home...with hair and makeup at 7:30. The nurse, one of our favorites, arrived at 8:00. We wanted to be at shul by 9:15, to check on the reception set up and check in with the Rabbi before the service started at 10:00. We were pretty much on time with arriving at shul around 9:20 and before we knew it, guests started to arrive. The service was wonderful. Brian, Danny (Ian's counselor and friend) and both kids did a great job. Ian did a great job paying attention to what was going on as well as making everyone laugh when the Rabbi was speaking to him. At just the right times, he stuck out his tongue as well as his irresistible smile. Becca did an incredible job. She had a rough time right before it was her turn to read from the Torah. She became scared and her anxiety got the best of her, she pulled herself together like a champ, took her deep breaths, and read her Torah portion, without skipping a beat. Just look at that smile below.
Both kids read their D'vah Torah's (I read for Ian) with such grace. Brian and I could not have been prouder of our children.
After the service was over, the adults went into the Garden Lounge for a short cocktail hour while the kids went into the Krieger Auditorium to get started with the DJ and party. It took a little while for me to get out into the Garden Lounge...lots of people came up to wish us a Mazel Tov. The emotions which were going through me were beyond words. Just having both of my children here to become B'Nai Mitzvah...was a dream come true. As the day got closer, my goal...to keep everyone healthy and here. There were many special moments during the reception...the introduction (when Chai Lifeline did their tunnel for us to come through), the hora (seeing both kids lifted in the chair, yes you are reading that right...Ian was lifted up in his wheelchair),
the candle lighting ceremony, Spider-Man, the father-daugher/mother-son dance, spending time with friends in the photo booth, and Brian's speech thanking everyone for all of their support over the years...just to name a few.
As I sit here and finish this blog entry, I am still overjoyed with emotions looking at the photos friends have sent me along with just thinking of the day. I am not sure what I wanted from the day, but it was everything I could have wanted plus. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us...to share in our wonderful simcha...you are all a part of our village and support system and we love you all.