So, here I am, a year before my eldest daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, and about to launch my new blog, which will chronicle this next stage in my life – Bat Mitzvah parenthood and all that it brings. Upon contemplating my blog-to-be, I realized that like all things in life, if it doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t exist. So I decided to challenge friends and acquaintances from a broad cross-section of my life to help me name my blog, and in this way to accord it a reality. Thanks to all of my Facebook friends who responded on my wall and in private – each suggestion helped to bring my blog closer to existence, in ways that I am about to explain.
In search of a blog self identity
Raphael – my school friend, who I haven’t seen in almost 20 years (yes, we’re THAT old), was very helpful in sorting out my blog self identity issues. Playing virtual “shrink”, he asked me “what does it mean to you to be a “bat mitzvah” mom? Do you love it? Is it a shlep? Is it fun but tiring? Is it mostly silly or is mostly serious?” He told me to figure out the main “thing” I want to communicate and the name will follow. Raphael’s questions helped me realize that the blog is really about the Bat Mitzvah from my perspective and only indirectly about my daughter. I realized that I see the blog as part of my own journey or adventure that I am anticipating with both trepidation and eagerness.
Gila, a friend from my youth who actually made it all the way into my present life, went down the “call a spade a spade” route with her suggestion “blogging towards bat mitzvah”. Sarah my FB friend who I have never actually met in real life also took this approach, and in a later comment mentioned Bat Mitzvah norms like finding caterers and halls. That gave me a platform to reveal my secret card – I won’t be having caterers and halls for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. This will be a celebration designed for my amazing daughter, who doesn’t fit into your standard 12 year old girl cookie cutter.
My blog must express the confusion that lies ahead
With his “But Mister…!?” (instead of Bat Mitzvah), my cousin Mike who shares memories of summer days in Sunny Cape Town, started a chain of “punny” options, all of which helped to express the confusion that I feel lies ahead. Miri, also from my “early life” Cape Town days, suggested “Bat Mitzvah Buts” and Kevin, from my “middle life” in (anything but Sunny) London suggested “Bat-ty Mitzvah Mum” or “Bat-tered Mitzvah Mum”.
Dani, another old school friend, whose friendship has been renewed over FB messages, suggested “Me, Tatty and the Dati Batti”. It’s light and funky for the frum crowd and as she said “It’s got a Dr Seuss ring to it!”
My new and anonymous Facebook friend, messaged me with some wonderful ideas like -“it’s my Bati, & I’ll cry if I want to………” and “Talibat Time”. Her discretion reminded of the internet rule – if you wouldn’t want to see it plastered on a interstate billboard – then don’t say it on the internet! In my search for blog self identity, this reaffirmed that there are things best not said online, and to extend that idea, sentiments expressed in cyberspace cannot be exchanged for words that pass between two humans, in each other’s presence.
A “motherload” of love
I grew up with Gary, as our moms are practically best friends, despite the oceans that now separate them. He suggested ”The motherload of womanhood – my 12-month adventure in becoming a Bat Mitzvah Mom.” I loved “motherload”. It reminded me of the most important of all titles that I claim – mother – and how privileged I am that I have four young people who call me that!
“We’re all sponges, trying to soak it up”
Nick was trying to be funny when he said “With all the knowledge that goes into a Bat Mitzvah, it’s kind of like a sponge” but actually I took him very seriously. Nick and I shared a common school principal, who often reminded us that we had to be like sponges to soak in all the good that our school offered. That principal even used buckets of water and a sponge to illustrate his point. That principal is my father. Nick – you reminded me that as children we are bound to our parents, even after we have left home and started our own lives. As both a child and a parent, I am learning that the nature of that knot depends on your investment of self, and knowing when to embrace and when to let go.
Michal commented “How can she be bat mitzvah yet???” You’re right Mich, time has flown too fast -but you can hardly comment – I was your form tutor when you were in 7th grade and you’re almost finished college. That flabbergasts me equally! Note to self – our parenthood days are short; live every moment with love, enjoyment and intensity.
Fanfare and trumpets, the name is about to be revealed…
So with all of that, the time has come to reveal my blog’s name. This name is the fruit of the creativity of those who have known me for varying periods over the past 30 years, merged with my own over-active musings. This name represents a blog about a woman who is trying her best to be supermom, but doesn’t always manage, and despite the dips in the road, it is about a woman who is determined to provide the best, most meaningful and personalized Bat Mitzvah to her firstborn daughter. (It is also about a woman who is a bit surprised that she is calling herself a woman, because she feels like a kid.)
If you are interested in parenting, if you are interested in Bar or Bat Mitzvah’s, or if you are interested in life from my particular angle, then this blog might be for you, and I invite you to follow it with the RSS feed button. So friends and readers – please welcome to the world of cyber space my brand new, squeaky clean blog: “Batmom – the journey of a surprising superhero!”
PS. If you liked this, and you’re that way inclined, I would love it if you would like, comment, share or tweet!