I visited the comedian Myq Kaplan in Park Slope a few weeks ago to shoot this new video for our sibling site, MyJewishLearning.com. He was cool as anything, and we got into a bit of a nerd war (I won on Doctor Who; he won at just about everything else) and then he told a story about learning how to dance for his bar mitzvah.
Halfway through filming, I got one of the biggest shocks of the past 48 hours. (It would have been the biggest, but I’d just done my shift at the Food Co-op and ran into an old friend from 10 years ago who used to be Hasidic and is now married to a non-Jewish guy and has two kids…but, yeah.)
As Myq spoke about his bar mitzvah, it got me thinking about mine. I realized that more time had lapsed between the present and my bar mitzvah than between the present and my oldest daughter’s future bas mitzvah.
I’m not sure what to make of this. I mean, in actuality it’s kind of beautiful, right? Getting older. Raising your kids with the immemorial traditions of your great-great-great-grandfolks. But…growing up means that one day they will be grown up. They will have bas mitzvahs. They will talk about the Torah portion in words better than my speech (where I didn’t really talk about anything, but I thanked just about everyone who ever worked at my synagogue). They will be able to read Hebrew better than I can now.
Let’s just say, I went into clueless-dad-induced-shock.
We visited my parents for Thanksgiving. Our younger kid was obsessed, obsessed, with my bar mitzvah picture. Not just scratching my face, which she does to every other photo/drawing/blur/wallpaper around the house. She was giggling and bumping noses and actually trying to have a conversation, in that pre-vocal gurgling way, with this two-dimensional prepubescent version of me. And that brought on yet another realization, and an even more shocking shock. One day there will be boys.
Over and out. I have to fish through my old Boy Scout stuff for that BB gun.