I have to do what?
A blessing at Temple…
A speech for Jonah?
200 words or less.
The Rabbi must be high.
I sat there, across the table…stunned. Me. Looking at her, the Rabbi, as the words came out of her mouth,”You will need to offer some brief words of blessing to your child.” Actually, she said…I have 200 words to be exact. And I started to chuckle. Does she know who she’s talking to? I can’t even order my coffee at Starbucks in 200 words or less. But then it got worse. Much, much worse. She handed me a paper with a list of rules. Rules. Guidelines for the Blessing. I don’t do very well with guidelines, Rabbi. I’m a free flow kinda gal. Umm, I like to just talk off the cuff, ya know? Whatever comes to mind…or fingers. No rules for me!
Oh, I have to follow them? Wow. You don’t have to get so crabby. Give them to me…
Let’s see…the first rule is a good one, I guess. The parent blessing is not a time to recount your child’s greatest achievements. Really? Why not? So I can’t go on, and on about how fucking awesome Jonah is? Whoop Whoop! I can’t say how he was the first kid in his Kindergarten class to build a lego dragon in under 3 minutes? Or how he holds the record for the Highest Vertical Jump in the 5th Grade? Wow. Tough crowd. Or how he was always in the 95th percentile for weight and height at his well checks? Crap. This is going to be no fun at all. Boooorrring. I’m bored just thinking about it.
Please keep it positive and reverent. I mean, duh? Does that even need to be said? What else would I be but positive? I’m talking about my first born son, for fucksake. Although yesterday, he did piss me off. And he calls me “woman” all the time. So, maybe I will say a few shitty things if he keeps it up. And what the fuck is reverent? What does that even mean? I’ve never even heard that word. Let me go look it up. Ohhhh…reverent! Jeez. Why do they use such big words? I get it, we are in Temple. I will keep it clean. I can be respectful. Especially when I’m wearing heels, and a nice dress.
And last but not least, This is a time for praise, blessings, hopes and dreams. Sigh. I need to dig down deep, and write the best stuff I’ve got. The things from my heart, that I usually save just for Jonah. And I need to say them in front of all our family and friends. And I need to do it without losing my shit. I will look at Jonah’s face, all grown up…and tell him how proud I am of him, and all he has accomplished. I can’t even look at my Mom, when I tell him how he amazes me each and every day…because only she understands what Jonah and I have been through. And how unique the bond is that we share. I will be positive, and reverent…and praise him, with a blessing that all his hopes and dreams come true. Following all the guidelines perfectly.
But the truth of it is, the real reason I only get 200 words..is because Mark gets 200. Usually, the parents get 400 together. One of the “guidelines” I skipped, Your blessing should not exceed 400 words. Ya. We each get 200 words, separately. I guess I’ve been in denial. This is a “Divorced Bar Mitzvah”. And we will have no pictures together. We will each have ours taken separately with Jonah. And separate candles at the candle lighting. And separate Alyiahs. A “Divorced Bar Mitzvah” looks a little different, right? And until this meeting with the Rabbi, I guess it didn’t really hit me. The Weintraub’s will be having one of those, Divorced Bar Mitzvahs. Great.
So, we each have 200 words or less.
200 words or less to speak separately, about the most important thing we did together…
Ironic, huh? Kinda breaks my heart. But its reality, and it comes with the territory. Crap. Do you know what this means? OMG! It means, I have less than four weeks to get this speech written. And MY 200 words has got to be so much better than Mark’s. GAME ON! You better bring it, Super Dad…and not one word over the limit, or I’m busting your sweet-ass! Follow the Blessing Guidelines, Mister. And I am going first. After all, that child came out of my vagina. ;)