Hi Friends –
We’d all been looking forward to this day for quite along time. Aunt Carrie and Uncle Steven first reminded us of Rylee’s special day way back when we still lived in our kennel in Connecticut. Back then we weren’t sure where in the country we’d be living, we just knew there was no way we would miss it!
The time is finally here. The time to share my final chapter of our trip to San Diego and my human cousin’s Mitzvah. We found temple, found our parking, and made our way to the front gates preceding a courtyard. There we met someone dressed as a security guard. Dad and I weren’t expecting security, so we paused for a moment and asked if this was the correct entrance. Once we were assured we were in the right place we chatted for a bit and allowed the guard lady to meet me. (She was impressed, of course!) Once through to the courtyard we met up with Dad’s parents and his sister and her family. We chatted outside a bit before the service and were given the low down on where our family would be siting, while it is open seating there is a suggested area. We all made our way in a bit early so that Dad could see the layout and pick the best seat for me. (I like to have a place where I can be comfortable, while being available to work and out of the path of traffic.) Grandma walked us in, and showed us where she and Grandpa sat the night before. She really wanted us to sit with her but it just didn’t cut muster; I wouldn’t be comfortable or out of the path to traffic. (We like to hide in a crowd and then have everyone surprised that a Dane was even in a room with them when we’ve been there the whole time without a fuss.)
My entertainment started even before the service. It was funny watching Dad trying to get his Kippah to stay on his head, after it fell off a couple times it turned into a team effort Lily took a bobby-pin from her hair and Mom pinned it to him. I wondered where mine was, but I was assured that as long as I was quiet that would show the appropriate amount of respect for Spirit. Then I saw everyone with their prayer shawls and I thought I should have one of those! Some were quite simple, while others were so intricate. I wanted one of those too, even though I didn’t know what they were for. Dad said, it was called a Tallit and they are meant to remind the wearer to observe the commandments of their faith. Since we don’t necessarily follow their path we don’t get to have one. Dad could see now that I was a bit sad, so he let me wear my fluffy and pretend for the service. (Every chance I get to be a people, I do, besides who could say no to this face?)
There was a lot of standing and sitting and most times, at our own services, Dad stays seated but he must have felt the spirit in the day because he looked like he was at the gym doing his squats. I, of course, keep my down-stay unless called upon. (There where a couple times I needed a stretch, but I timed it with Dad so it was cool.)
Oh and the Torah service, that was cool…up at the front they had this big closet. I thought for sure we were supposed to hang our coats in it but when they opened it and pulled out these big scrolls of paper I was beginning to think we’d be wrapping gifts until they started reading from them. I was really surprised that Rylee could read Hebrew and recite all the passages. Aunt Carrie and Uncle Steve told us that she had been practicing for a really long time, like from early Summer. All the practicing payed off, she really did a great job! She spoke so eloquently about life lessons that we all could take to heart.
After the service there was a gathering for sniffs and pets. (The humans ate and talked.) There was a group of kids that asked Mom earlier if they could pet me, but I was working so we had to decline. During the lunch gathering though there was an open corner and Dad was sitting and talking with his cousin so Mom and I went and met the kids. We all had a great time! Soon enough though it was time to go. We went back to the hotel to relax a bit. (I got some bed cuddles with the human puppies, some dinner and a walk.
Later the same night it was time to P-A-R-T-Y! We got all dresed up. Mom and the girls looked so pretty. Dad, well there isn’t much we can do there, but he did put on a suit and Bow-Tie (…because bow-ties are cool!). We walked through the building that was hosting several events that night. We dropped off the kids for their events on the lower floor while Dad, Mom and I went up to be with the adults for drinks and hor d’oeurves. Grandpa kept trying to give Dad wine, but after he said he wanted to pay attention to the other guests without a glass in his hand it made sense.
About an hour passed up on the patio and we all went downstairs for dinner. The tables were set with assigned seating. As always, Dad and I assessed the location. The only spot we could have made work was next to a pole, but we would have been in the way. Dad found someone to help and we got the table changed to one by a wall. It was fun when Aunt Carrie and Uncle Steven saw us and wondered what happened. Dad proudly told them he switched the table and the coordinator helped. After a great dinner it was time for the kids to join us. Before the music and dancing Rylee Lit her Shabbat candles while calling on groups of her close friends and family to join her as a sign of respect and thanks. Dad was surprised that he was called up, but even better than that she called up Mom (as Aunt Lauri) and Dad together. (It was great! I’m pretty sure Mom cried.) Before the dancing starting a video came on and it was great fun. Nobody knew, except for those that were in it, what was going to happen. You should check it out HERE. After that everyone danced for hours. Mom said that he legs hurt she danced so much. It was great to see everyone have so much fun. (Editor’s Note: My legs hurt for days from dancing 3 hours in heels. Not as young as I used to be, but the kids thought I was the fun mom, so totally worth it!)
The next day we did have to come back home, so it was back to the airport, waiting in lines and long naps on the plane, and who could forget the horse jokes. I really had a great weekend and we can’t wait to see everyone again. I hope it isn’t as long as it had been for Dad, but at least I have my second cousin’s Bat Mitzvah to look forward to in a couple years!