View from the bimah.
In a way, I started imagining this weekend the moment I became pregnant. I've made a conscious effort all along not to become attached to any particular vision for who my kid will be. Still, I couldn't help picturing a celebration of b-mitzvah. This tradition is so core to who I am, who I've chosen to be.
Of course, I couldn't have imagined the years of pandemic that preceded this weekend. The b-mitzvah celebrations with exactly 10 in the room, six feet apart, masked and distanced... It's not like that now -- though now most people test at home, so we don't really know what the numbers are anymore.
One of my kid's best friends tested positive this morning and won't be able to join us. Of course the worries mount. What if someone I love gets sick at this celebration and doesn't recover? (What if I get sick again and this time the impacts on my longterm health are worse?) What if, what if...?
We've asked everyone who's traveling to test before coming. We all tested again this morning. Masking protocols are still in place at my shul. We're all vaccinated. We've done everything we can to keep each other safe. "Breathe," R. David said to me this morning. "Let yourself celebrate. Your son is 13."
I've been so focused on pandemic protocols and on logistics -- from ordering kippot to setting up chairs -- that I haven't let myself do that, yet. Three of my parents' siblings will be here. Three of my own siblings will be here! And many people whom we love. After these last years, that feels miraculous.
Tonight when we welcome Shabbat, I'm going to do everything I can to let go of the logistics and the pandemic anxieties. What matters is that my son is becoming bar mitzvah, and I feel so lucky to be his mom. We can only walk through this doorway once. I want to be as present as I can.