I ordered donuts for my son’s class for tomorrow. My son Prince HockeyFan will be putting on tefillin for the first time in the morning (a month and a day before his 13th birthday), and the tradition these days is that they take donuts in to the class to celebrate this milestone.
A friend of mine wondered how come this has become such a celebration – in the olden days when we were all young it was a non-event. Kid went to shul, put on tefillin like everyone else and went on with his life.
My answer to when did this become a done thing? When kids realized they could squeeze even more money out of their folks than they are already doing. Truth is, folks, that you don’t want your kid to be the odd one out. If everyone else in their class brings in donuts on the day they don tefillin for the first time – don’t you want your kid to do the same? Don’t you want your child to feel as if he belongs?
For us, maybe it is a little different. My kids are still the new kids, to most intents and purposes. If he would be the only one that didn’t bring in donuts, maybe that would serve to press home the point?
I am usually NOT a follow the crowd type of person. I do my own thing and I am usually happy with that. However, I think we all want our kids to feel they have a circle of friends around them who support them and don’t judge.
But there is a limit – mostly it’s usually a financial limit. Most of the boys have a Shabbat barmitzvah AND a dinner during the week, or a luncheon or something smaller for their classmates. We are making a small affair over the barmitzvah Shabbat next month, with close family and friends. Nothing fancy – our emphasis is on the boy becoming a barmitzvah and celebrating him reaching this milestone in an appropriate fashion – appropriate for our son and our family.
2 dozen donuts isn’t going to break the bank and will make the child happy. I have no problem with it – but where does one draw the line? Is there a financial amount that you won’t go over? Where is your line?