We went to a Bat Mitzvah last night. The Bat Mitzvah was a second cousin who we don’t know all that well, but of course one has to show up anyway, especially when one only lives half an hour away.
I was concerned about how Beauty would do. Even though it was a fairly small affair (50 people or so) there were lots of people she didn’t know, not to mention unfamiliar surroundings, loud music, flashy party lights, dancing, clapping, etc etc etc. Most of it after her bedtime. I would have cried and melted at her age, as would all of my siblings.
I am therefore completely flummoxed to understand where she dug up the genetic material to be such a party girl. She loved it.
She wanted to dance. The whole time. I could barely peel her off the dance floor to eat her dinner. She wanted to be carried for part of the time, but most of the time she was quite happy to stand on her own while we danced with or around her.
She waved her arms and marched and grinned through the party dancing. She tried to shake her hand to “Single Ladies.” She clapped to everything. Sometimes with the rhythm. She stood in the middle of the crowd while people did the Macarena around her. She tried to follow along on the Cupid Shuffle and the Electric Slide. (Thank God Hero is also a dancer, so for those two we could be on either side of her and prevent her from getting trampled.) She spun in circles during “Apache.”
At some point the DJ put a giant sombrero on my head, and after a minute or two I passed it to her. She loved it. Every time it fell off she picked it up and put it back on, or handed it to us and said “hat!” until we replaced it. She wore it while she followed the conga line around the room, and grabbed it after it got knocked off by the limbo bar.
I might add that I was also enjoying the party. The smaller crowd felt very relaxed, and my sisters and I had a great time dancing. The people were great, the baby was happy, and there was enough alcohol to help people relax, which is after all its purpose.
(We were fascinated to discover that the synagogue apparently makes a habit of serving hard liquor during kiddush. We went back and were given chunks of challah, which is normal, and thimble-sized cups of juice for kids and wine or bourbon or gin or vodka or flavored vodka for the adults. I actually think it’s a brilliant tradition: the point of an oneg is to encourage socializing and community, after all, and a little bit of alcohol serves the double purpose of helping people to relax and keeping them from leaving too soon. It’s certainly not a perfect system, but for a smallish gathering I think it’s a good one.)
Anyway, when it was finally way past her bedtime and clearly time to go, Beauty didn’t want to leave. We managed to get her jacket on, but she twisted out of my arms to go stand on the dance floor and dance some more. We scooped her up again after a few minutes, but she requested music as soon as we were in the car and was extremely indignant that the hat could not be worn in the car. Such are the trials of life.
Party on, baby girl.