Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Preparing for Wonderwoman's Bat Mitzvah

I just returned from attending a Bat Mitzvah "out-of-town". Though the traveling was a bit tough, it was great to reconnect with old friends, and to see how much their kids have grown since the last time that we saw each other.

The Bat Mitzvah girl is really a very special child. She has overcome some very significant medical issues, and seeing her looking so beautiful and feeling so healthy and happy really touched my heart.

I started thinking about my own daughter's upcoming Bat Mitvzah. Wonderwoman will be turning 12 in the fall, and she's started asking about a party. I haven't written much about my daughter on this blog. I refer to her as Wonderwoman because she is the embodiment of everything that a powerful woman can be. She's beautiful, charming, and funny; she's a gifted athlete and dancer; she's very efficient- a real take charge, get-it-done kind of person; and if you mess with her, you're totally screwed. She doesn't take crap from anyone. In all honesty, she's also bossy, self-involved, and attention seeking. She is the polar opposite of me, and I still can't believe that she is actually my child.

So- how do I teach my little hurricane that there's more to becoming a Bat Mitzvah than throwing a big party? I would like to get her involved in a Chessed project of some sort. Something that can teach her that while she is indeed wonderful, she is not the center of the universe, and that she has an obligation to look beyond her own needs and help others. We have 8 months until she turns 12, but not a lot of free time. I would love to get some help with this. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

9 comments:

The Babka Nosher said...

I'd sit down with WW and the computer and start making a list of organizations that SHE can research. There are so many organizations and ways that she can affect them, by either raising money for them, raising awareness for them, or by hands on help. Think about pairing her up with a friend who has similar interests... they can egg each other on! I have a friend whose son volunteered in a local humane society and then collected pet toys, etc to donate. The key is that she has to have a passion for the activity for it to make a difference to HER. Good luck!

Rafi G said...

We made a couple suggestions for my daughter about organizations, but sh erejected them. don't know why, but she was not interested.

What we did was to make a small, intimate party in our house, just for relatives and she was able to invite two of her friends. I made her prepare a speech (which I helped her with), and she was involved int eh planning. She and my wife prepared a game for the party (the game was family tree involved), we prepared a photo presentation of her life that ran on a computer in the corner of the room, and the party was great and meaningful. The few people who spoke, spoke about lessons that are important as she begins her new status of adult.

The Babysitter said...

My school didn't allow to us to have bas mitzvah parties, so I didn't have one. But a year later when my brother turned 13 and had his Bar Mitzvah party I was able to invite some friends and had my own mini party with him, I had my own cake and they even picked me up on a chair...

If you want to do something with your daughter that will get her involved with a chesed project at the same time, then you can try doing an activity that's fun for your daughter and her friends, and then the finished product can go to sick children, poor children, or any other kind of group that is in need. You can have the girls bake challahs and then give them to poor people who need it for shabbos. Or they can make pillow cases or other kinds of stuff for sick kids in the hospital that say refuah shelaima on it.

ProfK said...

A friend let her daughter have that big party only it wasn't really her party. She told her daughter that she and a small handful of friends should pick a place that might not get parties all that often and plan a party to be held there. They would have to figure out what kinds of activities to provide and what food might be appropriate. They would also have to decide on a gift for the people at the place since this would be their party. The girls ended up picking a senior home locally. Yes there was a cake for the birthday girl, but she was the hostess that day. For the gift she bought for the seniors her mom took her to a gently used bookstore and they bought 100 books for fifty cents each, something the older people really appreciated.
She did get a great gift that day, aside from learning about caring for others. One of the ladies in the home crochets a lot and has no one to give things to but the other seniors. She gave this girl a truly beautiful set of crocheted bed covers.

SuperRaizy said...

Thank you for the very good suggestions. I really appreciate the input.
I particularly liked Babka's suggestion that I allow my daughter to choose a project that SHE is interested in.
I'll let you know how it goes!

Frumteacher said...

In the days of the Cold War, many parents here donated money to funds for Russian Jews. They taught their sons that they would not only celebrate their own bar mitzwa, but help a child in the SU celebrate his. You could think of a 21st century version of this project. Perhaps wonderwoman could raise money herself (since she is outgoing and likes performing) for poor bat mitzwa girls in Israel.

SuperRaizy said...

frumteacher-
I love that idea, and I actually have mentioned to her the possibility of doing a "share-the-simcha", where you raise money to fund the bat mitzvah of a poor girl in Israel. she seemed a bit interested, so I will discuss it with her again.
Thank you for the idea!

muse said...

Of course there's the chessed project and a family research project.
I let my daughter's have their ears pierced before their Bat Mitzva.
Some neighbors celebrated with a Torah Shiur.

Ezzie said...

We have a cousin who is doing something really wonderful for hers, which is coming up soon. E-mail me...