When I was 13, bat mitzvah season was in full-swing. Every weekend, a different hotel.
I didn’t get a bat mitzvah. My parents said it was just an excuse for a party, not a rite of passage the way it would have been if I was a boy. But I attended lots of them.
And now it’s started for my daughter. 13. Make-up done at Sephora, shoes purchased at Macy’s, a dress she wore recently in a friend’s wedding. Bat mitzvah season has begun.
Thank God, Jesus, Krishna, Vishnu and any and all other deities listening. Or maybe not.
I mean it sure makes my life easier now, but will it make her life harder later?
When I was 13, bat mitzvahs were all about sneaking alcohol, making out with boys and dressing as HOT as possible.
Kaia said there weren’t even really any boys that the bat mitzvah she went to tonight, she didn’t think there was any alcohol served (even to the adults) and she didn’t seem overly focused on the hotness aspect of her outfit.
While I’m fairly certain that kids overall are not staying innocent and inexperienced longer (this article says 10% of Texas 12 year olds have had sex and a quarter of 7th and 8th graders), I’m so glad my daughter and her friends seem to be.
I know I was definitely not ready to navigate the world of “relationship” as early as I began. If I could have waited a few years to connect with my sex, I think I would have been able to handle it much better than I did, with a lot less judgment, shut down, and shame. But in some ways, my early experimentation was actually really good for the rest of m life.
I had a friend in law school who had never experimented as a teenager (when he had parents present to reign him in), and when he got to law school, he went off the deep end.
Parties every night, lots of sex, lots of drugs and he ended up skewering his law school grades and most of his prospects for the future.
In contrast, I had been there, done that in jr. high and high school (with my parents trying to reign it in as much as they could) so that by the time I got to law school, I was ready to settle down and study every single night for 3 years straight. And it paid off. Big time.
So, I’m curious … when did it all start for you? The sex, drugs (in whatever form you experimented), and rock-n-roll. What was the impact on your life? And, if you are a parent, how are you handling it with your kids? Let’s discuss.