Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,


I flew to NYC late Friday afternoon and returned mid-day Sunday, to attend the bat mitzvah of the daughter of a college band friend in Connecticut on Saturday. I stayed with my (college band) friend Alan and his family in NYC and tagged along with them for the ride. Services were in the morning, the dinner dance was in the evening, and I spent the interim getting a tour of chichi whiteboy Connecticut under the gracious tutelage of theoctothorpe. It was well worth the trip, and I'm still taking it in: Sitting at services with folks I've known for 30 years on either side of me, seeing kids I've known since they were babies, singing Brown Band songs in the front seat of my friend Alan's van as we headed back to his place in NYC towards 1 in the morning (with his exasperated children falling asleep in the back seat). This is big stuff. This is resonant. This is about connection and lifethreads and sentiment. The bat mitzvah girl's mother called me on Sunday afternoon, about an hour after I'd arrived home, just to check in and say that dancing Latin with me the previous night at a happy time of a big day was a vivid wonderful image of the weekend for her, and to thank me for coming out just for the event. Wow.

I wish I had the time just now to write more about it all, and perhaps I will at a later time, but for now I enclose a random picture from the weekend, of Alan's 13-year-old son Gavin. Gavin is the boy for whom I wrote the bar mitzvah letter two weeks ago, the letter I put in this journal, so this is the illustration for that post. Gavin had stayed behind in the morning to take the entry test for Stuyvesant High School and came up later by train with his older brother, for the evening party. Bar and bat mitzvahs these days tend to be elaborate affairs. At this event there was a photographer in the corner, so the guests could go and have their picture taken professionally. He got a couple of pictures of Gavin. I was taken with one in particular because in this picture, for the first time in my eyes, he looks very much like an adult, and a darned handsome one. In another picture he looked very much like a goofy kid -- kids that age can move from one of those images to another in a matter of seconds. I asked his father to scan the picture in for me, because these kids change every time I see them. His father replied that the kids change every time he sees them as well.

Anyway, this is the illustration to my post of the other week, my friend Gavin who, in my head, is about five years old. I have this picture to remind me that he's a bit older than that now.

Next weekend is the bat mitzvah of the child of yet another college band friend, in NYC, but I won't be able to make it out for the third time. I saw bat-mitzvah girl Sophie at these last two events, and she did a great job of making me feel both wanted and guilty at the same time. But I just can't do all three, and I have some conflicts this weekend keeping me from traveling back to NYC on those days. So I promised Sophie that the next time I visit New York I will take her to dinner at her favorite restaurant -- or, at her choice, I'll take her and her sister or her and her sister and her parents. Her sister then said we could go to Benihana's, and I had to check with Sophie that this would really be her choice and she says yes. The rule is the grownups can't talk about grownup stuff while leaving the girls to themselves -- we have to pay attention to Sophie for the meal, and let her talk about her bat mitzvah or anything she wants. In no way will it make up for me not being there, but it's something to look forward to.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.