Yesterday, Max and I headed to the temple where he's having his bar mitzvah. We met up with the music teacher he's been working with, and Max stood at the podium as she played guitar and they and ran through the songs.
Slowly but surely, we are inching our way toward his big day in April. And I do mean slowly, because juggling a bar mitzvah and a new baby is—how shall I put this—insane. Watching Max practice gave me some peace of mind, not to mention pride.
Last year at this time, Max refused to even walk into the sanctuary. Now, he dashed in there, made a beeline for the podium and adjusted the mic. Why say "Testing, testing" when you can say, ""I'm Fireman Max!"
He had the melodies down pat. He had the rhythm. He sang with enthusiasm and joy. The enunciation of the words: a work in progress, to some extent. That's never been Max's specialty and really, the words seemed secondary to the feeling and there was much there. Max sounded great to me. If I've learned one thing from raising him, it's that perfection is overrated.
The Shema is perhaps one of the most famous prayers in Judaism. In it, we ask God to hear our prayers.
As I watched Max singing it, it was clear God has heard mine.