Releasing bar mitzvah stress

If there’s one thing I learned at Jack’s bar mitzvah, besides never wear new shoes without breaking them in first, it’s that I can’t control some things in life. For example, I can’t control the weather and whether the rain will allow Jack’s baseball friends to attend his party. Also, I can’t control the health of people and whether they will be sick or well enough to physically be there for the special time in my son’s life.

It’s hard for me to give up control and not worry about every little thing. So when my phone suddenly stops working for two whole days during the bar mitzvah weekend, and I can’t retrieve or identify any of the endless ringing calls, I feel helpless and frustrated. That’s when I realize that I’m better off not knowing of any last minute changes, and just trust that everything will be okay.


Hmmmm, sounds like a metaphor for something more significant.

Even though my phone malfunction is inconvenient at the time, I appreciate the disconnection from any outside distractions. All I can do now is focus on the moment and not whether the caterer ordered enough tablecloths. Perhaps the telephone trouble is a divine intervention from God or maybe a screw up with Charter Communications.

Doesn’t matter.

I get the hint.

Like the red and white helium balloons that gradually float down from my dining room ceiling, so do I. I’ve been on a high for so long, and now that the bar mitzvah is over, I’m slowly exhaling and coming back down to the ground. I’m not holding my breath any more in anticipation of the big day. It feels so good to have special memories of the bar mitzvah ceremony and celebration. Most importantly, my son has added another link in our Jewish heritage, and his commitment to study Torah is stronger than ever.

Finally, I can relax and not think about organizing any big events for a while.

Then again, Sari’s bat mitzvah is scheduled for 2011. So I better start planning now.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is obsessing over the thank you notes for her son’s recent bar mitzvah, so feel free to send any advice to: [email protected] or visit her website at