J attended his first bat mitzvah party last Saturday night. All the kids from his class were there. The girls were dressed in party dresses, some in heels, some in strapless outfits. They looked beautiful, and very grown up. The boys were mostly wearing button-down shirts, some had on ties, some even wore jackets. They looked good -- handsome, even -- but vaguely uncomfortable.
This party came right on the heels of J's first middle school dance last week. Most of the bar/bat mitzvah festivities for J and his friends will take place in 7th grade, but there are a few kids having celebrations in 6th grade. So this party, and the dance, are the first time these kids have been in this situation. I'm thinking they may be a smidge too young for this sort of thing. Most of them are barely in puberty. Or "pubertized," as J likes to say.
But there's another issue, too. With these dances and parties, J is being asked to look at the girls differently than before. They are supposed to now be objects of desire. But he doesn't feel desire for them. They are the same girls he's gone to school with since kindergarten. They are friends. How is he supposed to make this transition?
"Slow dancing is stupid," he commented. "All you do it put your arms around the girl's waist, and move back and forth. It's boring."
Well...yeah. Until it isn't.
Trouble is, he's just not there yet. These kids are 12. Some are still 11. This is too soon.
Maybe next year.