Tag Archives: hora

Mazel Tov

27 Mar

While sitting in Temple for our friend’s son’s Bar Mitzvah, dancing the Hora and chatting during dessert, I looked enviously at my friend and her mother’s interaction. How wonderful to have your mom and maybe even your grandma, 3 or more generations of women, celebrate such monumental lifecycle events! As the observer, I treasured the proud look on her mom’s face. I couldn’t help but wonder, “What does that special pride and approval feel like?” Yet I also realized that is a tricky combination. Was she feeling the “he chanted beautifully, your outfit is gorgeous and this party is the most and appropriate” approval? Or was my friend imagining questions like “did he take on the extra Hebrew? Why did you choose that dress?  Why would you serve that at a Bar Mitzvah?” I’m not going to naively negate that my mother’s presence during the planning stages and special day might have caused stress. She certainly might have interfered, asked the wrong questions, and even pushed me to invite extra relatives and friends. Yet, that’s a risk I’d take in a heartbeat.

How do moms without moms cope with this void during these special celebrations? Do they make substitutions, as I did, for the roles their moms would have played? I still smile when I remember asking my mom’s sister/my very special aunt to be the grandparent participating in my son’s talit ceremony. I feel lucky that she could participate in the tradition, especially because my son was named after my mom. But, I also know that we all felt her and my dad’s absence.

Do moms with moms wisely combat any stressful interference by understanding the alternative—my reality? How do we help ourselves appreciate who we have in our lives, whether they cause or alleviate stress? While I wish my mom could celebrate a simple sunrise as well as a once-in-a-lifetime event with me, I appease myself by imagining all of the good feelings she would have helped create.