Tag Archives: bar mitzvah

Time to Cry Tuesday – Sunrise, Sunset


The title of this post is for my brother. This is how I will be able to tell if he is reading. What, it’s not all about me and my blog?

When we were growing up my mom had a friend with a beautiful singing voice. At every Bar or Bat Mitzvah she would get up and sing Sunrise, Sunset with the band. As you would expect, all of us kids would roll our eyes, giggle a little, suffer glares and shushes from our parents and fidget our way through to the end of the song.

Years later, at my brother’s wedding, she got up and sang it again. As young adults the eye rolling was replaced with a wink, we had long since learned to stop fidgeting and our parents were way too busy full out weeping to worry about the likes of us.

Fast forward a quarter of a century. (this, too, is for my brother – everyone loves to think of themselves as being married for any fraction of a century, right?)

This past weekend I attended the Bar Mitzvah of a friend’s child. But this was not just ANY Bar Mitzvah. This, my friends, was the celebration of the last of the First Thursday children coming of age. The First Thursday group has existed since the month he was born, he is our measure for the length of our friendship and as you can imagine, he is our little mascot of sorts because of it. (surely every 13 year old boy would love to be referred to this way.)

Yes, number 18 has now become a man. Funny, but he still looked so young to me. Until the video montage looped its way into my line of sight and I saw all those kids frozen in time as they were when they were small.

Then I looked back on the dance floor and caught a glimpse of my sweet *J* (not Jana, this is my other J) in that beautiful blue satin dress the color of her eyes, of *N* and *K* in those drop dead sequin numbers with the high heels that would surely cripple the likes of me. And *V* dancing up a storm as if the whole damn world was her living room and she had it by the balls.

That’s when it friggin’ hit me. Like a ton of corny, OMG-I-have-surely-become-my-mother bricks…

I could have been singing the lyrics to Sunrise Sunset in my head.

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Filed under communities, family, moms, parenting, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays, Uncategorized, women

Time to Cry Tuesday

This past weekend we had the good fortune of attending the Bar Mitzvah of the son of dear friends. These particular friends have been living in the theatre of the absurd for the past few months and it was a joy to be with them in celebration instead of misery. (well perhaps both, but that is not what this post is about.) 

Their synagogue is one with a very different style of worship. As Reconstructionist Jews they are encouraged to bring a piece of who their family is into the service. This included select non- sectarian readings of the likes of Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. They flatteringly included the lyrics to Better Things from a Time to Cry Tuesday past as well as the lyrics to songs that were dear to them and the ideals of their family. 

I am here to post about one such song. Their eldest son, who holds the connection between our two families as we met when he and my daughter were in elementary school together, performed a song that just near broke my heart. He has grown into a really cool young man, one whom I enjoy spending time with and am honored that the feeling is mutual. 

The rabbi introduced the song with a preface about the current military situation that our country has found itself in. He spoke about mothers, spouses and children who have suffered losses that get lost in the propaganda and politicization of these wars. This beautiful 19-year-old boy I have known for most of his life, got up with his guitar and sang the Dispatch song, The General

I sat in this holy space and listened with my whole heart to the words of a young man who was fortunate to be born into a generation that has not known the draft. But with his words and through his heartfelt performance I felt the pain and fear we all hold for the families of the soldiers who so bravely volunteered for the armed services of this country. And I gave thanks that, for now, my 16-year-old son (whose birthday is today making this all the more poignant for me) is safe from the fear of being drafted.

The chorus of this is written from the point of view of a General in battle. It says it all:

I have seen the others
and I have discovered
that this fight is not worth fighting
I have seen their mothers
and I will no other
to follow me where I’m going

Take a shower, shine your shoes
you got no time to lose
you are young men you must be living
go now you are forgiven

May those who defend this country come home safely and may this madness end!

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Filed under current events, family, friendship, parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays