Countdown to Celebration

It begins.

I am done working for the week as I prepare all the last-minute details leading up to my eldest son’s bar mitzvah this weekend.

Family arrive starting tomorrow. Manicures and pedicures for the girls tomorrow, rehearsal with the rabbi and photographer at the farm where the blessed event is, my husband and I off work to cull together all the beautiful things that make a celebration.

Life goes by so fast. As we watched the montage video last night, of photos from the moment my son was born until today at the age of 13, I saw the past 13 years parade before me in a blur of moments.

They go by quickly and if we don’t stop to cherish them, to notice, to appreciate, to celebrate, then our lives amount to nothing.

It’s the moments worth celebrating that make a life.

A casual Mother’s Day walk amid tall trees and long grass, beside the Detroit River. Cousins cavorting on hammocks and beside a bonfire when we gather Up North with family every summer.

Flashlight tag on the beach as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash against the sand late at night, moonlight spotlighting the landscape below.

That moment at night when my kids climb into my bed and pull as close as possible just so we can be together.

That’s what life is about.

Today, my middle-schoolers had a half day. Eliana stayed at school to be an ambassador for incoming sixth-graders at their orientation. So my bar mitzvah boy and I had several hours just to be together.

We went for pizza and salad, then drove to the mall to find a shirt for the big event. In the car between destinations, driving under blooming trees, I turned to Asher, told him I love him, said how lucky I am to be his mother.

“I’m so lucky to be your son,” he replied. “I love you, too.”

He let me hold his hand while I drove. He let me hug him in public, pull him close, nestle into him. He is almost as tall as me and before I know it, he will be looking down at his mom.

My biggest boy, my sweet teenager, with a soul so deep and caring that I can’t even put into words how wonderful and special and amazing he is.

I know every parent thinks that about their kids. But seriously. I feel so incredibly lucky to be their mother.

There are no guarantees in life. From one moment, when all is perfect, to another moment, when perfection shatters like broken glass, we cannot take anything, or anyone, for granted.

Each day is a gift. Each moment. Each kiss, each hug, each afternoon spent together running errands and talking about nothing and everything.

The celebrations are the times worth savoring. Worth building up and bursting out about, bringing everyone together to focus on what matters.

Love. Connection. The community of family.

Every breath an opportunity to shine, to make a difference, to live so deeply.

I am so excited for this weekend. This is what we build toward, what a life amounts to. Celebrations. Love. It IS a big deal. It’s the only deal, really, so let’s give it all we’ve got.

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