“I’m sorry. I don’t know why this is happening,” I sobbed in front of the bat mitzvah tutor as we prepared for my daughter’s ritual transition into Jewish adulthood.
My teenager’s eyes widened. “Mom, stop.”
But I couldn’t stop crying. As an Italian Catholic, I felt left out. I envisioned another “challah moment,” like the one at my interfaith wedding when I forgot to tell the catering hall to provide the sacred loaf for the Hamotzi, a prayer over bread. I’d felt all eyes on me, the non-Jewish bride.
“You never know when it’ll hit you,” the instructor explained. She didn’t know that my daughter had already sprouted four inches above my five-foot frame, and how just that height difference felt like she grew away from me. Now my daughter was preparing to become a Jewish woman, something I’d never be because I chose not to convert. I feared we’d be unable to connect on this milestone.