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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tentative Bar Mitzvah Plans??

Another, long winded post by me. It assumes that you've been following my blog closely. :) It also assumes you like reading my tedious thoughts.

Tonight was an interesting night at Temple. William's class was responsible for leading the Service. William had a couple of solos at the Bima where he read English and Hebrew. He has come along way from when I first brought him to this temple when he was 7 and only a pre-reader who couldn't sit still. The ladies in the congregation including the rising prez, came up to me to tell me how beautiful his reading is. They all want to know if I will give him a Bar Mitzvah.

In the meantime I am sitting with Scott and David who were quiet. I am thinking, after 5 years of attendance can all this be coming together?

Then all of a sudden David is all done. He got up and yelled like an obnoxious animal. I am totally embarrassed. I pretty much have my fist down his throat to get him outside without another verbal outburst. He gets even louder outside. The prez comes out to check on us. David called her a not-so-very-nice name. She misunderstood and replies, "I am not Ethel, I am S." Not knowing she's hard-of-hearing, I thought she handled him well. He called her that not-so-nice-name again. She heard him correctly this time and asked me if he has tourettes. Sigh. I have never had a proud mother moment at this Temple. I called John to see if he can pick up David. I go back in feeling humiliated. (I am feeling like a coward and I am definitely not feeling like Permission to Mother.)

William and Scott both made friends this year. Both friends were there tonight. We accomplished making arrangements for both boy's friends to come over.

It seems that everyone is curious about my plans for Bar Mitzvah for William. They wouldn't let it go. William did so well, I could tell they would be disappointed if I didn't follow through with all the time invested into his education.

Confession time. My plans seem to be leaning towards having a a private Cantor give my older boys private lessons this upcoming school year and have a double ceremony outside the Temple. Practically speaking, I don't have the time to be at the Temple 5 times a week for 6 months and then do it in a year and a half all over for Scott. I am so stressed out now about getting them there two times a week, sometimes three. When the Cantor told me that she could get both boys ready and have a combined ceremony, it was a major relief to me that there is a feasible way for me to do this.

Back to the curiosity about William's Bar Mitzvah ceremony. I decide to do some comparison shopping :). I asked the prez-to-be, if they ever have a double BM? Yes, she says.

Since William is ready now, I'd rather have Scott go early next year rather than William wait two years. I ask do they ever give a BM at 12 (the age Scott will be next summer)? She said, it happens all the time, but not at this Temple. The Rabbi won't do that. I decided just to fess up then and tell her (and William's friend's mother, who happen to nominate herself for the Board last week) that it is a concern of mine about how I would manage the boys BM training, but with my busy schedule, I don't think I can manage the Temple's Bar Mitzvah training schedule. Then on top of the training schedule, to be stressed out if David can't sit still or who can stay home and watch him. I told them I don't like dividing my kids up leaving David at home. Shabbat is suppose to be about families not division, especially family Shabbat. The prez actually volunteered to bring William to his Rabbi classes so he wouldn't miss out! I am really appreciative that both new Board members were glad to see that I had looked into plans to follow through that would work for me. They probably assumed all along, I wouldn't have any BM for the boys. They see how presured I am all the time. They are probably relieved I am pursuing something.

I am grateful for for the education William and Scott have received at the Temple and I don't take lightly my choice to pull them out of Hebrew School next year. I just don't see how I can fulfill the BM requirements at the Temple, especially now all the extra time I am putting into Scott's very, very, very, very explicit reading program. I want to continue to keep my nutrition a priority and I can't do that if I am in the Temple every night (and its not helpful that they serve terribly unhealthy food). I also keep trying to up my fitness and there always is something bigger and bigger in the way. Oh, yeah, John's house hunting, too. That's demanding.

Private Bar Mitzvah training offers so many possibilities. Besides the boys lessons being time-efficient. They can have their lessons during the day when I am at work. My evenings and every weekends would not be tied down. I will only have one "teacher," the Cantor, to check in with. Right now they have two teachers each, subs, and a principal and VP, I report to. The Cantor finds my sons very interesting. She does not have any teaching disabilities! She says deep thinkers are a joy to work with. Imagine what it would do to Scott's confidence to be a Bar Mitzvah a year ahead! I just love the idea that he'd be ahead in one subject and trained by someone who lets deep thinkers explore. No more word search puzzles. No more down time for him in a classroom. Actually, by the time he became a Bar Mitzvah, he'd be caught up in all his subjects including reading and he'd can move on to bigger things! He's even going to be a Black Belt in that season also.

The time frame of the Cantor's training gives me a little longer break over the summer than the Temple's schedule. I would actually be able to get Scott much further along scholastically with an early Winter Start up in Hebrew as opposed to a Early Fall start-up competing for his academic time. These upcoming months in Scott's reading schedule is very critical to his long term success.

I often don't enjoy myself at the Temple because I am so caught up in getting W & S to their activities and figuring what to do with David, I never get anything out of it myself. I actually don't enjoy the kids services as much as I do the regular service. Maybe I'd have a chance to enjoy the services that I want to attend if I am not having mandatory school attendance requirements.

After talking to these two Board Members tonight, I actually feel better with the self-realization knowing that my time constraint problems are not necessarily the Hebrew Schools internal issues and I should do what works for me. I have a tentative Double Bar Mitzvah date in mind. I will make a final decision after we attend William's friend's Bar Mitzvah Service early May. Our plans will mean more to the boys after they actually attend a fun Bar Mitzvah.

5 comments:

Becky R said...

Wow your yougest sounds like my youngest. I am laughing with you, of course.

Sounds like you already know what is right for your family.

Thanks for being honest with us, it is really helpful to me to know I am not alone.

Mom of 4 said...

Denise, I'm really sorry I missed Temple last night. I really wish I had been there. Ever since you encouraged me to nurse at temple (I FINALLY DID IT!), it has been easier. Again, not because I feel uncomfortable nursing, its the people there.... As far as letting the rising prez "S" bring your son to his meetings, PLEASE let me speak with you first. I'd love to get our kids together. I still have your card and have thought of you often. Hope to see you at Temple again soon. Thanks again for the encouragement. Lenita Weisfeld

Permission to Mother said...

Lenita, You sure got my curiousity about my son's meetings.
I was looking for you last night. Thanks for this comment. You can email me.
denisepunger@hotmail.com

Lauren said...

I love reading about the Temple and your sons' religious education. It sounds like you have found a good solution that works for everybody.

Don't feel so bad about David's behavior at the Temple. I'm sure every mother there that night has had to deal with similar situations w/ their children in public. Those proud mother moments seem to come when/where they really count. :)

Natacha said...

Very interesting post! Your such a good mum!! Here's to hoping you can find time for yourself again soon!!!

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