Have you ever wondered why, when it comes to our kids reaching the age of Bar and Bat Mitzvah, we celebrate as we do? Have you ever wondered why you have spent the better part of a year fretting over whether to serve your guests fillet of beef Prince Albert or steak Diane at the dinner party?? Or perhaps you struggle between chicken a la king and coronation chicken? Do we really need to hold a survey to determine whether serving soup during the summer is going to upset our guests or on the contrary, enhance our reputation because we dared to go against convention?
All these seemingly silly deliberations are in fact signs of a healthy attitude towards your child’s important coming of age. One might think that focusing on things like menus, decorations and themes are in fact superficial values that put across the wrong messages to our children and family. Maybe we should role model more serious principles and concentrate on their mitzva projects and acts of kindness…
The energy we put in to our celebrations give our child subliminal messages that only later on can be appreciated fully. As adults we make sense of earlier events in our lives and parents behavior with greater insight. A parent who spent what seems like a silly amount of time wanting to please their guest’s palettes perhaps is actually showing a strong sense of regard and concern for others and delights in being able to make people feel comfortable. Perhaps deliberations over color schemes convey a concern for estheticism that contributes in creating an atmosphere of joy and cheer for ones guests.
Most importantly though perhaps is the underlying message conveyed by the parent to his child: you, my son/daughter are worthy of my time and effort and financial investment. Your day, your coming of age is of utmost importance and demands my fullest attention and planning.
There is no need to remind us though that like all well meaning intentions, taken to the extreme, these sentiments could indeed create the opposite message to our kids. If we spend long hours into the night with the caterer and decorator while ignoring our child’s need for help with school work for example, he might very well come to believe he is of much less importance then the beef bourguignon. So, as with all things, staying balanced between all the various factors will guarantee your child’s bar and bat mitzvah will be a scared memory which recognizes and appreciates your parental effort in instilling in them their value and worth.
Do you agree that attention to the Bat/Bar Mitzvah celebration detail is of utmost importance? We’d love to hear your thoughts!