Reflection Before A Son’s Bar Mitzvah

Parenting Teens in a Legalized Marijuana Resort Town


In honor of my earlier promise to you, my readers, and to my myself to live in the moment, no matter how busy that moment may be, I have been concentrating HARD on enjoying everything that has been going on in the whirlwind of activities that have been sweeping through my life in these past few months, focusing on being productive, not busy.

And now, today, is Thumper’s? Bar Mitzvah, leading him to spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of faith and the meaning of life.

For me, this experience has been oh so much more than I was prepared for. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Being me, one who throws herself into everything without carefully plotting out the schematics first, this plunge into our 13 year old’s journey toward manhood has taken me by storm. But just like anything else, when one stops to observe and reflect, one can’t help but to become more sensitized, more emotional, more alive.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to take the time to think deeply about our Thumper and about who he is as an individual, separate from me. Otherwise, this time would come and go and then he would be gone, no longer by my side as my energetic companion.

When I tossed the idea to him that he needed a deeper understanding to who he is, he took the challenge without hesitation. And today the day has come where he makes the passage to manhood.

Had we still lived in our home in Old Snowmass, we would have had a beautiful service outside as the fall sun splashed warm colors over the chuppah, but without that home we had to find a venue, and no, we did not rent out the entire Hotel Jerome.

With a Presbytarian father and a mother who has always felt that her religion lay more in her spirituality than in the temple where she visited on the High Holidays with her parents growing up, Thumper has not grown up with any hebrew schooling and so he came out of the gate running when he began his studies for his Bar Mitzvah. He has been a quick study, learning to read Hebrew and memorizing prayers in just nine months.

We are proud of him and relieved that he is finding faith. The other day when we were driving home I asked him if he feels as though he has grown through all of this and he was silent for a moment. Then he said, “You know mom. When I finish with my Bar Mitzvah I think I’ll have no religion.” I about choked on my coffee but his Rabbi shed some light on this for me by saying that it’s really not about religion, it’s more about having faith and told me not to worry.

Not to worry…I’m going with that and today, when Thumper gets on the podium to read from the Torah, I’m going to watch as he transforms into a beautiful butterfly…and hopefully, not fly away.

“Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years.” – Anonymous



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  2. Remember to Be Fair. If you are planning a party that includes kids and adults, try to keep the balance between your friends and the bar mitzvah child’s friends. Sit down and write up your bar mitzvah guest “wish list” and figure out between yourselves who absolutely needs to be there. Also, kid’s meals are cheaper than adult meals, so you might be able to load more kids onto your bar mitzvah guest list without going over budget.


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