26 March 2006

Peer Pressure

For the first time in all my parenting years, I have had the vile after-taste of that which we casually refer to as Peer Pressure.

This came in the form of the debatable "Batmitzvah" celebration. As Sash goes to a Jewish school, she is at the age where one is confronted with the question of...

Does a girl need a Batmitzvah party?

Firstly, allow me to acknowledge that my first born, turned a full dozen years old on the 7th March. She has blossomed into a young lady before our very eyes and yet, the child in her still shines through in moments of weakness. Its an age which I am finding personally to be quite the challenge, on the one hand...she demands more freedom and independance, but on the other hand... she still depends so greatly on others acknowledgement and acceptance. She has a heart brimming over with compassion, generosity and genuine affection but on the other hand, she exhibits typical teenage intolerance, demanding and unbearable arguementative laziness. (this of course is only ever for the 'toppies' (old parents) )

*hey, did any one pick up on the whole fiddler on the roof scenario there??...lol

Having said that, she is the best and most loyal friend anyone could possibly have. She glows with the illumination of angel light. Sadly, with all angels, there are those who's lights shine not as bright that want nothing better than to dull hers in order that theirs would shine brighter. Not knowing that it is in that very act that dims their luminescence even further.

Sash, one day when you read this, I hope and pray that if there is one thing that I can teach you in your life, that you may KNOW and pass to your loved ones as and when your paths cross...it is this....

The more love and positive energy you give freely to others, be they close or far, be they family or foes, be they friends or strangers, the brighter YOUR light will shine. It is human nature to be drawn to the light. It gives us warmth and comfort and joy. It is only those who want your light that will try to darken it my baby, for them, you must shine EXTRA bright for they need to be shown who they really are and how they can shine just as bright. Know that you are beautiful. Know that you are truly magnificent. Know yourself. Know that you will never NEED anyone, that they infact...need YOU. Like a lighthouse on a pitch black, stormy sea. Guide them to safe harbour if they choose to follow you, but never look back...those that choose to...will ALWAYS show up. Those that dont are still lost... and thats ok.

Back to the whole batmitzvah saga...without going into too much detail, through sash, I have been feeling quite overwhelmed by the "everyone is having one!" feature. I personally feel that it is something which is quite unnessesary for a girl, having said that...apparently....everyone IS having one...even those who had unequivicably said they would NOT be having one! The bitchiness that has been borne of this 'tsunami of must haves' has left me and my child and possibly others reeling in the aftermath.

She, finding it difficult as the fickle little bitches team up with those that are 'sharing' which...apparently...doubles as a licence to spew venoumous remarks and behaviour toward those not in the loop.

Me, gasping for air in the backwash, desperately trying to stay within a non existent budget (as it was agreed many years ago that we would rather spend the money on a trip to see our families in SA and NZ) But feeling totally inadequate as a parent and good jewish mother. Wanting to give her that which "everyone else is having" so she doesnt feel like the ONLY kid who doesnt have one. But also knowing that finances just wont allow for a "do" that "everyone else is having!" AAARGHHHH!!!

Do you see the peer pressure?!?!?! Can you feel my pain?!?! Hallooooo....frustration personified!!

Most people wish to win the lottery so that they can buy a nice house, go on a fancy holiday, get that dream car. Me?! I wish I could make my daughter a nice batmitzvah party, the likes of any other spoiled little brat in that school (just so she can fit in)...AND take her on a round trip to see her family that she hasnt seen since she was 7.


Finally... do you know why they say "blood is thicker than water"?

Apparently... it makes it easier to choke on!....HA!


Tammy said...

I have to say the Bar/Bat Mitzvah scene here is horrific, people take out second loans on their homes topay for them. We went to one horse and pony show where my friend confided it cost her $150,000.00 for the event. It was truly the most spectacular wedding ... er... bar mitzvah I have ever been to but I have to say excessive beyond words. I like the idea of having the ceremony, sponsoring a kiddush at the the shul and then having a low key party for the kids at home - like we did in SA, and then take the family on Safari or to Israel. I have a lot better things to do then waste such huge sums on this event. If Sash really wants one then lether have the spiritual one, pass the rights of passage into womanhood without the show.

Reluctant Nomad said...

The great thing about Jewish customs like batmitzvahs and barmitzvahs is the cohesive aspect of them. Even where the family isn't particularly religious and the customs are more cultural than religious, they act as family focus points. The downside, of course, is the keeping up with the Cohens aspect, where obscene amounts of money are spent on them.

I've seen the video (professionally done) of the barmitzvah of the son of New York (displaced South Africans)friends and it was quite unbelievably ridiculous!!

Reluctant Nomad said...

Audio posting lesson:

*div align=center>*embed src="http://www.geocities.com/alan_mangrove/Nkosi_Sikeleli_Afrika.mp3" height="74" width="144" autostart="0" loop="0" width="0" height="0"> *noembed> *bgsound src="http://www.geocities.com/alan_mangrove/Nkosi_Sikeleli_Afrika.mp3" loop="infinite"> */noembed>*/embed>*/div>

Replace each asterisk with '<'. I had to do that so that this comment would be accepted.

That was the code used to post the SA national anthem on my blog.

You need to store the music clip somewhere that will host files for you. There are lots of free sites for that but they sometimes restrict your bandwidth so you may find that something plays for a while then stops which is frustrating. Paying for it is usually a minimal fee but you may find somewhere that is free for quite extensive bandwidth usage.

In the example above, you'd replace http://www.geocities.com/alan_mangrove/Nkosi_Sikeleli_Afrika.mp3 with the clip you want to play.

The code can be played around with in various ways that I can fiddle with as long as I have a manual in front of me (lots available on the net) but the most important parameters, in my opinion, are autostart and loop. If you want the music to play as soon as the webpage starts (can be very irritating) say autostart ='1'. If you want it to play continuously in a loop, say loop = '1'.

All quite simple, really. Have fun! :-)

Reluctant Nomad said...

That seems to have come out oddly, I may have to email it to you instead.

Freddie said...

Tam...yea dude...totally fucked up situation...but easier said than done when your daughter whole entire social status is put in the front line. And...at 12...broe...pls believe me...THAT is like... HAUUUUUGE!!

Nomad...Welcome..thing is... the cohesive aspect for us immigrants is.. very little family cohesion to speak of. Now for my son, in 5 years time...it will be a big do...and please God, my family will make the great trek from all four corners of the globe to be there. But, nobody see's a girl thing as a big thing...and yet it has become a big thing.

For the record..I dont DO "keeping up with the Cohens" very well or the Lipshitzes...lol

Ta fer the code...ur a gem;-)

Cappy said...

A party is nice. Here in the good ole' USA most of 'em range from a nice dinner to letting the little rugrats loose on a rec center. Painball isn't a bad idea, real AK-47's are better. DadGoneMad can add some ideas too.