Austin’s “bar Mitzvah”
Austin’s “Bar Mitzvah”
October 15, 2011
Turning 16 is a pretty big deal. I wanted to do something for Austin to honor this “rite of passage.” We had all heard of a Bar Mitzvah from TV and so I looked into it a bit more. The word “Bar” means “son of” and “Mitzvah” means “commandments”. Now I am not big on following rituals and traditions from any culture but I kind of just took the idea and went my own way with it. In a nut shell, for Jews this is the celebration of a Jewish boy becoming a man and therefore responsible to keep God’s law and he is no longer under the covering of his parents spiritually. This usually happens around 12-13 years old. I would not have thought of my child as a man at 12-13 but at 16, I do. Austin is a very wise and responsible young man. I am extremely proud of who he has become and I do consider him mature enough to start making decisions for himself. What better way to tell him that… throw him a party!
I wanted him to be clueless to the fact that the party had anything to do with him. Just so happens this year Feast of Tabernacles fell on his birthday week. I just had him thinking everyone was coming over to join in the feast day with us. His birthday is the 12th but Saturday worked out better for everyone to be able to make it.
We barbequed and all ate our fill outside by our “Sukkot”, then while I had Austin taking in some of the leftovers, I snuck his gifts out.
I called him over and explained what Bar Mitzvah meant, then Stewart took Austin’s hand, shook it, and told his son that he now sees him as a man, that he was very proud of who he has become, and that he loves him very much. Austin was totally shocked and unsure what to expect. This was totally out of character of Stewart. Stewart usually likes to pick and pester but with tears in his eyes Stewart told his son how proud he was of the man Austin had become, things every son wants to hear from their daddy. Stewart had been so nervous all week leading up to this moment, he wanted to make sure he got it right. I thought he did wonderful and a few of us didn’t have dry eyes by the time he had finished.
I handed him a plaque Stewart and I had made with the scripture “
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. “ and told him this was to help him remember to be a good man of God.
We also gave him a scrapbook we had started of his life. I told him that I plan to have it finished so that when he is old enough to move out he can have the story of his life with us, to take with him. I hugged him and quoted “ You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” We handed him his finale gift to unwrap, his sword. Austin is into medieval times and had been wanting a sword for a while now. After Austin had unwrapped it, Stewart took it and made Austin get on one knee and dubbed him Sir Austin Husband, a man. Maybe a bit corny but it meant the world to a dad and his son.
The cousins gathered around as Austin showed his Grandpa his sword. Everyone thought it was so cool and the older boys just “had to have one now too.” He was on top of the world.
The rest of the evening we went ahead and did the Feast of Tabernacles theme with the radio playing praise music and dancing. It started off doing worship dancing but then it went to daddy/daughter, mom/son, husband/wife, and sibling dancing.
Most of us ended up wearing the glow bracelets I bought for the kids. When we weren’t dancing the older kids “hung out”, the younger kids played running around in the yard, and adults chatted.
We had a blast!
Happy 16th Birthday Austin… I am so very proud of the man you are!