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When Rick (the Jewish husband) said to me (the non Jewish wife), “I want to have a bat mitzvah for our oldest daughter – this is how the conversation went…

Him: “Let’s have a bat mitzvah and a party!”

Me: “Let go to London for a family vacation instead!”

(Repeat this exchange at different volume decibels roughly 568 times.)

Then it finally went like this…

Him: “Let’s have a bat mitzvah and a party!”

Me: “Alright, let’s do this thing.”

And we did.

I started planning a pretty simple event while Dylan got to work learning her Torah portion.

I was very helpful in her endeavor by saying things like… “That’s definitely not English!” And “After you learn your Hebrew, I have an intensive Latin camp you are going to love!”

Then the bat mitzvah day came!

Dylan was amazing! (I guess. Again, I don’t speak Hebrew but she seemed like she was killing it.) The service was long – so long that one of Rick’s cousins was reading a newspaper. First of all, I’m relieved to know they are still making newspapers. And second, how smart is this guy to bring one?!

Then the party!

My girls and I did the required outfit change and then it was time for our family to be introduced!

At which point 4 year old Cash said, “I have to poop.”

I turned to that boy and said very seriously, “Kid, there are going to be times in your life when you have to poop and you just can’t. This is one of those times.”

And  he nodded his head – likely absorbing the deep wisdom I had just shared – and then we all got introduced like a boss!

(No idea when Cash got to poop – I hired a sitter for the day to watch him because I’m looking to avoid nervous breakdowns whenever possible.)

Now early on in the bat mitzvah planning I said, “I’m not going up in the chair during the hora.”

And I meant it.

And like my declaration, “Let’s go to London!” it was not taken very seriously.

I got a lot of sad eyes from my daughter Dylan and well, I caved.

Family peer pressure is real yo.

Here I am going up…

And then I turned into some kind of Royal Duchess of the Hora because here I am waving to my adoring fans…

After the party, out of town guests and family came to our house for more revelry.

(Why aren’t people using the word revelry more – I’m on a one woman mission to change that.)

I knew the after-party had reached its full potential when someone said, “There’s poop all over the stairs!”

And there was.

And it wasn’t any of my children!!

Some poor young cousin had eaten too much junk food at our party and had some belly issues. This is the dark side of the candy themed bat mitzvah that no one ever cautions you about.

We got it cleaned up pretty quickly and then got busy pretending it never happened.

Now I remembered that my daughter had asked if four friends could sleep over. I countered with one and then we never talked about it again.

My daughter assumed that meant five.

So I think I ended up with 9 children in my house that night but that’s an estimate.

In the end, the bat mitzvah was a pretty amazing event – despite being flung up in a chair and the cleaning of the poop and at moments wanting to be in London.

Because I knew how much it meant to Dylan, Rick and all of his mishpucha.  And if you don’t know what mishpucha means – you probably don’t have to throw an expensive bat mitzvah.

And it’s funny – sometimes fulfilling other people’s dreams can feel a lot like filling your own. It’s a gift. A mitzvah. Something I’ll never regret.

Because my beautiful jewish child will only be 13 once.

London will always be there.

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kelcey kintner