Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Vacation Trip 2 - LA

I was there when Jenna was born. Not in the operating room but in the waiting room at the Tarzana Medical Center with Dave and my in-laws. It was 13 years ago today. I remember the look on Phil's face as he ran into the room to let us know that he and Michelle were now the parents to a daughter. And I remember the tears in his eyes when he called his father on the east coast. I also remember holding Jenna hours after she was born, in disbelief of her newness, the teeny tinyness of her fingers.

Thirteen years later we're in the San Fernando Valley again, celebrating. Yesterday was Jenna's Bat Mitzvah and the baby in the pink blanket somehow morphed into an articulate, beautiful, Facebook-obsessed young teen. The tears I did not shed at her birth I shed while she was on the bimah chanting.

The party after the Bat Mitzvah was Hollywood themed. We ate, danced and ate more. (Remember, Jewish events = food, food and more food.) The synagogue social hall was transformed into a blinding collage of bright colors and sparkly things. The picture, above left, is of Jenna and her younger sister, Sarah. This was one of two dresses she wore that night. Not sure what that's about.

The kids had their own buffet and activities, which included a smoothie bar, scrapbooking, make your own videos (which were then burned onto DVDs to take home) and a t-shirt station, where you posed for pictures that were then transferred onto shirts ala the black and neon Apple iPod ads. There was a video of Jenna and all her accomplishments in an E True Hollywood Story format. The adults were seated in rounds of ten on one side of the room and the under 21s hung out in Jenna's VIP Lounge on the other. Think plush white couches and rugs with neon accessories. They all kicked off their shoes immediately and ran around barefoot, which made perfect sense.

Thing 2 and Eldest Daughter lasted until the bitter end and took the limo back to the hotel; I left with Thing 1 at 11p. Today my mother-in-law hosted a brunch for out-of-towners and we drove the 350 miles drive north. For kicks, I checked my calendar while we were on the road. In the last five weeks we've been gone three. It's no wonder I can't wait to get into my own bed tonight!

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