Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Was it really the best day of his life?
The videographer who recorded Max's bar mitzvah recently asked me to choose a couple of songs for the highlights video he was making. One was easy—"Firework," a song Max loves, the one that played as he made an entrance to the party. The other was harder. Max also loves the song "Happy" by Pharrel Williams. Me, I love "New Soul" by Yael Naim and "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay.
The chosen song: "Best Day of my Life" by American Authors. It's upbeat and fitting. As I pondered it, though, I started wondering whether the bar mitzvah really was that best day of his life, and whether it would be the only such occasion we'd celebrate.
I've thought about this before. Another mom of a child with disabilities who planned her son's bar mitzvah had told me they were going all out because her son would not get married. "It's his bar mitzvah and wedding day rolled into one," she told me.
I admired her spirit, even as I had a silent freakout about Max. Would he ever get married? In general, I try not to think too hard about that because as I well know, it is not possible to predict what the future holds. As his mom, I would like to have him find happiness in love, and someday rejoice at his wedding. I've been inspired by stories about couples with disabilities I've heard over the years. I've also wondered whether Max could or would have kids; he is so sweet and loving with Ben. Every time he gets home from school, he bounds over to Ben and says, gleefully, "Hi, Baby Ben!" and I melt.
I try not to hope too much; this isn't something I can control. My marriage was one of the best days of my life, along with the birth of each of my children, but it does no parent any good to project their ideas of bliss onto their children. At heart, I know that however Max finds happiness is what's best for him, and Max is a person who regularly finds the happy. He's planning to see Zootopia this weekend with Dave, Sabrina and my sister's family at a theater that serves meals as you watch the movie, and all week long he's been telling me it's going to be the best day ever.
Max also said it was the best bar mitzvah ever. I'm choosing to think that it's just one of many monumental occasions that will occur throughout his life, in whatever form they take. And, yeah, the boy's got some time to find true love if that's what his future holds. Although the other day, he made a point of telling me that this girl at school he adores, J, isn't just his friend—she's his girlfriend. WHAT?!
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:37 AM