The Bat Mitzvah celebration went off without a hitch. The ceremony was held in the same temple we were in three years ago for my friend's older daughter's Bat Mitzvah. It's a beautiful space - modern, with skylights and huge windows that flood the sanctuary with light. And since it was a beautiful fall day, the bright blue sky and colorful leaves were lovely to look at. I'm sure when they scheduled this for November 17 no one would have expected the leaves to still be on the trees on that day.
I had a moment of panic before we left the hotel - I had a Wardrobe Malfunction. I had brought a plain black dress to wear, and had packed two pair of pantyhose in case one of them was too small or had a run in the leg. So when it was time to get ready, I started to attempt to don the first pair. Mind you, I don't wear pantyhose often. I probably hadn't had any on since last December for DH's company holiday party. Plus I have gained, perhaps, a few pounds...
So I struggled and tugged and pulled as I tried to yank the offending garment onto my body. I finally got to the top part and as I was tugging on the waistband I realized the things were disintegrating in my hands. The rubbery part of the stretch fabric was detaching in little sticky pills onto my fingers! Apparently the elastic part doesn't last forever.
So I ripped them off and said to myself "Thank goodness I brought another pair!" I started putting them on, and after the first leg was on I was feeling confident. Not only were they not falling apart but they fit better too. Then I started pulling on the other leg. Uh-oh. A small run was starting in the foot. I kept pulling them on. That was when I realized there were four or five small holes in the left leg! I was obviously not meant to wear pantyhose to this affair. I was out of options! Unless I wanted to go bare-legged in 35-degree November weather, the dress was out.
Luckily I had also brought a dressy pant suit with me, so, in a last-minute wardrobe switch, I put that on instead. I still wore the uncomfortable dressy shoes. As it turned out, I fit right in, as there were a number of other women similarly attired.
The party itself was a lot of fun. The girls were arrayed in a rainbow of party dresses, all teetering on their newly acquired high heels. The dresses ranged from taffeta with ruffles to black cocktail dresses worthy of a 30-year-old. But whichever style they were, most of them sported spaghetti straps or were strapless altogether. The boys, gawky and uncomfortable in their dress suits, soon ripped off their ties and untucked their shirttails to party in comfort.
The DJ got all the kids up on the dance floor for a hula-hoop contest, followed by various other games and dances. The high heels came off and the little sophisticates were soon running around like the 12 and 13-year-old children they are.
Toward the end of the afternoon, two of the Bat Mitzvah girl's best friends presented a skillfully done PowerPoint photo collage, accompanied by music, that they had put together themselves. All of these kids have grown up together, living next door to one another, and it was a lot of fun to see these children's pictures over the past 13 years, and watch how they had grown and matured.
It's strange to think how 13 years ago for us is such a short time; 13 years ago I was living where I live now, working where I work now. Yes, there have been some new developments in my life since then, but basically I was a grown-up then and I'm a grown-up now. But 13 years is my friend's daughter's whole lifetime.
It was especially poignant to contemplate this as I looked around the room. I've felt a part of this family ever since my friend and I met in freshman year chemistry lab in college, so I knew a lot of the people in the room. I've been seeing some of them off and on for 35 years. So I've seen the children grow up, the middle-aged grow elderly...and of course we too have gotten older, hard as it is to realize that!
We never know what life will bring us, so it is so important to enjoy the time we have when happy events like this bring us together. And it's times like this that we realize the everyday things we spend our time and energy on are often not what are important in life - it's the people we love that matter.