Jewish Guilt: Activated!

Well, Elizabeth’s post, Bat Mitzvah, Bowl Mitzvah, Who the Heck Knows Mitzvah?, had its unintended (or intended ?– perhaps the Jewish guilt really is strong already in this one at age 12!) consequence. I spent some time this week working on Bat Mitzvah party planning. We reviewed the guest list, counted numbers again, and came to the conclusion that we probably can manage to do a mostly adults luncheon at the synagogue (yay) with a kids’ party the following day at a local ice rink or bowling alley. Yay!

To be fair, Elizabeth has been reasonably diligent about her Bat Mitzvah tutoring, and the cantor’s weekly progress report emails to us (now that’s service!) seem generally pleased with her progress. [By the way, it is fortuitous indeed that our synagogue hired a new, lovely young cantor this year. When we told him about our trip, he was the first to say, “Oh, no problem, we can do tutoring via Skype or FaceTime” and on a snow day a few weeks ago, he did all of his tutoring for the day via Skype/FaceTime without batting an eye.]

Given Elizabeth’s hard work, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that I should stop playing ostrich and finally start working on the Bat Mitzvah party prep. As I told the potential caterer, etc. I spoke to — our goal is to keep this simple, because while we are all for spending on experiences rather than things, the experiences we we want to spend our money on are the trip experiences, not a one-day party.

I left a message for one caterer recommended by our excellent synagogue administrator, and had a lovely conversation with another caterer who comes even more highly recommended. When she proposed buffet-style, told me that with no liquor license, they can’t do a mark-up on beer/wine, and then asked if we might do those awesome faux-china plastic plates (like the ones you find at Amazing Savings) rather than renting china, that was all music to my ears! I will have a proposal from that caterer next week, after she and her team return from a caterers’ conference (who knew?) in New Orleans!

For me, the toughest part of all of this right now is trying to keep so many balls in the air at once. I need to have the logistics for a Bat Mitzvah all organized and ready to go, while I’m simultaneously getting my house in order, attempting to actually work a few hours once in awhile, parenting my kids, scouting RVs for the domestic portion of our trip, and oh, at some point actually making some plans for the actual travel portion of this endeavor! But I know the pay-off will be worth it, so we soldier on.


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