One of my absolute favorite parts of bar mitzvah prep is writing the parents’ blessing that I get to read to my child in front of our guests at the service, and this time around was no exception. What a joy to write from the heart about my youngest baby and my hopes, wishes and dreams for him! I highly recommend this exercise to all parents at some point. It doesn’t have to coincide with a bar mitzvah or other special occasion. It doesn’t need to be long or be particularly eloquent and elaborate. And you don’t need a microphone and an audience of 500 people to hear it! This heartfelt piece took only about an hour to write, but it’s a personal treasure each of my kids will have a for a lifetime.
We are so proud of you, Matthew! You did a magnificent job!
You, my beautiful young man, are a DAZZLING and INSPIRING human being, and you’ve been that way literally since the day you were born. You made, shall we say, a rather GRAND entrance into the world. You were a rare “frank breech“ delivery (google it if you don’t know what it is – all I’ll say is that it shows a heckuva lot of attitude and style!) and you were greeted with a hearty round of applause from a bunch of awed residents and nurses who had gathered to watch. You were born the star of the show! And from that day on, you have captivated the world with your charm, your cleverness, your kindness and that mischievous twinkle in your eye.
You don’t let ANYTHING hold you back. You have never used your hearing loss as an excuse, and you show time and time again that you have the tenacity and determination to accomplish anything you want. You are incredibly bright and wise beyond your years. You’re fiercely competitive, an impressively hard worker, and you have tremendous intuitiveness about the way the world works.
Like MacGyver, you have an uncanny ability to be able to figure anything out – on your own and without effort. One day you simply stood up and knew how to walk. You jumped into the pool and instinctively knew how to swim. You hopped on a two-wheel bike and pedaled up the long driveway. And, the very first time you visited New York City when you were 4, you just knew how to step off the curb and hail a cab.
Being the youngest of the four legendary Reiser brothers has never held you back either. You are a natural leader – and your magnetic personality, your easy laugh and your radiant smile make you “The Mayor” or the “Pied Piper” nearly everywhere you go. Of course, it also might have a little bit to do with the fact that you’re endlessly entertaining, hilariously funny, and just innately the coolest dude I’ve ever met. The life of the party, baby. As Dad and I say, “The BADDEST of both of us.” NOT the worst of both of us…the BADDEST!
And inside that very cool candy shell is a warm, sweet, cuddly center. You have an extra-special sensitivity and caring toward others, and the gift of making all kinds of people feel instantly at ease. You touch many hearts, and you encourage and inspire so many around you, simply by being YOU!
So on this very meaningful day in your life:
- We wish for you, Matthew, a long, gracious life in a peaceful world.
- May your life overflow with joy and blessing.
- May you carry the hopeful enthusiasm you have today for all your years.
- May you keep your standards and expectations high, and may you fulfill all the goals you set for yourself.
- May you have the strength and character to stand by your convictions and to support what you think is just.
- May you have the confidence to know what a good human being you are and faith in the choices you make.
- May you have compassion for others and the generosity to lend comfort to those in need.
- May you have respect for the earth and humility for your place in the world.
- May you be a true friend, and may you be blessed to be surrounded by true friends always.
- May your life continue to overflow with laughter and family and silliness and coolness and exotic sports cars and hot babes just the way it does today.
- May you continue to embrace your Jewish identity with your heart and soul.
- And finally, may you remember daily to be grateful for every blessing – big and small – and may you always know how truly loved you are.
We love you and we couldn’t be more proud of you!