About a month ago, Craig tried on his favorite suit. The pants were too tight, so he said he would just go on a diet and they would fit by the bar mitzvah. I tried on my famous blue dress from the Katie Couric show last fall and it was also too tight. So, I went on the same diet as Craig. You will be happy to know that the suit fit Craig just fine in time for Sam’s big day. I still can’t zip up that fucking dress.
Yes, the joy of female metabolism over age 40 is one of the many life lessons I have learned recently. I am constantly learning new things. Like, Kimye has taught us that it’s ok to wear a white wedding dress after 2 marriages and a leaked sex tape. I did not know that.
I learned that I am too old to go on most rides at amusement parks. I am nauseous and dizzy for hours after a roller coaster. I cannot swing on a swing or sit in the backseat of a car without needing Dramamine. I learned that sometimes you throw away candy so that you are not tempted to eat it, but then you end up going through the garbage in the middle of the night looking for said candy.
I’ve learned that my late night fantasies are including less and less sexy famous men dancing with just me at some really cool club, and more and more look like a scene from “Little House On the Prairie.” I am now fantasizing about me sitting on the porch, rocking in a chair, with no one around. Just me and a field and some fucking peace and quiet.
I still don’t know everything: I ponder the world every day. What happened to the Entertainment Book? I think they would still really come in handy. Why are guns legal in every state, but gay marriage and marijuana are only legal in a few states? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m pretty sure stoned lesbians will not be used as an instrument for mass murder to kill college students. If anything, they would buy everyone ice cream and listen to the Indigo Girls.
Sometimes I know the answer for sure: when the kids wanted to know if they could make a Javert Build A Bear, I said I didn’t think there was a Les Mis section in the store. But when Aidan asked me if someone was going to burn down our house like they burned down his school recently, I didn’t know how to answer him.
I do know that in this crazy competitive world, you need your friends by your side more than ever. And even though it’s wonderful to have people who stand by you when things are bad, it’s even more important to have them around when things are good. It’s easy to stand by a friend and tell them that everything is going to get better, but it takes a lot more character to cheer on a friend’s success while you are still waiting for your own. I’ve learned that just because you are related to someone, it does not make you family. Family is a term to describe the people around you who make you feel safe and loved.
At the bar mitzvah service, Craig stood up in front of our family and friends and bemoaned the fact that I made him trim down his 3 page speech to Sam, leaving him with only a few paragraphs to share with the crowd. There were sounds of shock from the audience, and perhaps some felt pity for poor Craig. Little did anyone know, but his original speech included fun tidbits on Sam’s wacky breastfeeding habits, and a comprehensive analysis of what Craig learned from being a parent the past 13 years. To our family & friends: you are welcome.
At the party that night, we surprised Sam with a flash mob to the song “A Little More Homework” from the Broadway musical 13. Our 3 secret rehearsals paid off, even if my promised appearance on Ellen following the release of said video onto Youtube did not. (Perhaps we needed to hire Hooters waitresses to dance along with us. That was apparently the key to Sam Horowitz’s bar mitzvah video success.)
The song explains that, even when you become an adult, you never stop learning. We continue to learn new things every day. We are constantly doing “a little more homework” to try to cope with the world around us. And, I think that that’s ok. I really wouldn’t want to know everything there is to know about life, ever. The people that drive me the craziest are the ones that act like they do, in fact, know everything. I hope that I never stop discovering new things. The world can be wonderful, and it can be downright unfair. But sometimes, it is through these lessons, that we can learn new ways to improve the world around us and to make it better for the next generation. The minute we stop learning, we stop growing. And when we stop growing, we die.
“And I’ve been looking in the back of the book for the answers, hoping the bell wouldn’t chime… but I’m not ready to put down my pencil just yet, there are too many answers that I didn’t get…I need a little less pressure, and a little more time. I’ve been trying to follow, trying to lead, trying to learn what is true….. day turns to day turns to day… you gotta hang in there ’til the whole story ends, ’cause we all have a little more homework to do.” Jason Robert Brown, 13 the Musical.
In case you would like to send the flash mob video to Ellen (or, you know, just enjoy it for yourself):