MARCH 28, 2009
The re-cap of Brett's big day! AWESOME
Friday the 27th, Brett wakes up energized after throwing up and groaning in pain all day on Thursday. Happily, Dawn and I both wake up better too. Brett is not nervous at all; he's bored and doesn't know what to do with himself. In the good news category Jennifer (Dawn's best friend) and her family advise they will be coming. It was in doubt as they all were sick in Florida with a virus too. Random emails and calls from people throughout the day with tales of babysitting problems, possible delayed arrivals and related issues. But we all rest, Brett is geared up, our cousins arrive for a visit and dinner from a 12-hour drive from Ohio, we order sushi, and we watch tv rest of day. Brett going blind from videos. Dylan avoids the family bug and is healthy. Dawn, not loving my shirt and tie choices opts to steam my power blue with pink polka dots tie. Looks good.
But now as bed time Brett gets crazy. All are in bed by 9pm. But Brett can't sleep. Wired. And every time we are about to crash, he comes in to room. Dawn meanwhile now had hideous cold getting progressively worse. Can't sleep or breathe and is coughing insanely. At around 1:45 a.m. she leaves the bedroom. Not a good night sleep in the whole house but for Dylan.
Saturday the 28th -- THE BIG DAY
Alarms go off at 6 am. The service begins at 10:30 but there are 4 showers to be had, makeup, suits, belts, ties, etc. A hot water crisis as I shower but so be it. Kids are dressed by 645 handsome and ready to go. The food rule is plain roll. Dawn going through inventory of things she needs for the day (make-up, purse, water, medicines, and other emergency things).
I go for two Immodium breakfast having had stomach issues all week. Will allow me to eat all day without a second thought.
We get in the car at 750 a.m. The place opens at 830 for us. We have the Humanistic Congregation Torah we will be using (salvaged from Nazis) for the service. Hopefully at some point I can convince Dawn to post the Service she planned so people can see how the Humanisitic service she planned was organized. Anyway, we take a leisurely drive on an overcast drizzly morning. I am driving slower than usual to kill time. Dawn is in her beautiful new dress, wearing gorgeous new jewelry, Brett and Dylan handsome in their suits, me in the Navy blue Ralph Lauren purchased for the occasion. At about 811, I see an animal crossing the road in front of us. We thought it was a little tiny dog, but upon closer inspection it turns out to be a small fox, with a squirrel in its mouth. An interesting little sidebar to be sure. The drive while not long seems endless because Monroe Ct is not terribly vibrant. We pass our friends' business "Party Time Village" (kids children establishment) on the way.
We arrive at about 8:20 and despite forecast of clouds, the sun begins to emerge. A good omen.
The people at The Waterview are already geared up, and very reassuring. We go downstairs to where the service portion will be held (The Garden Room). And our first mini blip. The room while lovely has a layout problem. The way the seats are set up certain side angle seats will be blocked by columns and will not be able to cleanly see Brett do his Torah reading or his self-written Project. So we do some re-decorating, move some flowers around. Meanwhile, the backdrop with the water is gorgeous as the sun comes out more.
The people upstairs are doing their thing setting up the "football tunnel" for Brett's bar mitzvah party. The dance floor people from Durants are on time and already there putting in the huge dance floor we have added. Brett is having over 100 adults and over 80 kids. The people from Confetti who helped Dawn organize the party are wonderful and outstanding. The "tent" for the tailgating section (Brett's theme is a football one) is set up. The centerpieces, the blown up posters of Brett in football and other gear and professionals are perfect against the back wall (we took 3/4 of the huge room). The games (pop a shot, tripart air hockey, the folks from Interactive Entertainment, already there doing their thing) are well-spaced.
The photo man is on time so we are doing family photos from 845-930 or so. First us, then with grandparents, then with Aunt and Uncle from my side. My parents arrive looking good. But Dawn is getting a little nervous because the video/dj company has not yet arrived as of 945. Since the service is to start at 1030, Dawn is stressing. I quietly have the Waterview put in a where are you call. There is some consternation because the day before the Whitestone Bridge had been shut down for a zillion hours, and lots of people are coming from Long Island including these folks. Anyway, shortly after we place the call the DJ Yaehnny van pulls into the place as Dawn, myself and the boys are outside taking pictures. Brett doesn't love the outdoor pictures because his allergies are bad and the sun is in his eyes but we get some good shots with the water behind us.
At right around 10, I take a peek inside the party room. Dawn's vision coming to life. VIP placecards, life-size cut-outs of football players scattered throughout the room, each table with huge centerpieces with name of team wrapped at bottom with grass or turf planted, with an actual cut out player with the color and unform and number and name on the front. The tailgate tent has an actual barbeque which when you lift the cover has BAK (Brett Adam Kornfeld) water bottles. A huge cut out of Brian Westbrook's eagle unifrom (Westbrook is Number 36 on the Philadelphia Eagles, Brett's favorite team) with Brett's head inside the helmet. The DJ booth getting set up, the tables all set, half a dozen uniforms which say Kornfeld 13 (from different teams) hanging from the rafters, the party favors for the kids (huge blankets with Brett's logo) also set up. The party room coming together.
Guest start arriving shortly at or around 10 am. The service room downstairs now looks great. We start greeting people both up and down stairs for the next thirty minutes.
The service starts at around 10:40. Ten minutes later than we had said but no big deal. No real distractions. Brett truly rises to the occasion and does his Hebrew portion flawlessly, then delivers a really socially conscious and profound Project on Tzedakah and the importance of making it a part of your life (Tzedakah is a form of charity). Brett talks about his struggles and experiences in integrating the principles of sacrifice into his own life. He talks about his experience doing community service at the Jewish home for the elderly. He talks about what it all means to him. He talks of examples of service that have moved him. All in all his 10 minute project is really well-delivered. A proud moment. He then caps it with his "speech" thanking people which was very moving. His brother gives a great "top ten" list as to reasons why he loves his brother. Dawn gives her remarks and does not cry. I give a few comments reserving my more profound sentiments for the party.
All in all, a festive, error free, well-paced beautifully customized service by Dawn, perfectly delivered by Brett, creating a perfect memory. After lighting memorial candles, doing the blessings over bread and wine, exchanging gifts with the congregation, the entire service is done by 1130 a.m. on the dot. We step outside for 20 minutes for kiddish of wine and challah. By 11:50 its cocktail time. Brett was a true rock star on this day. Self-confident, poised, mature, well-spoken, thoughtful, humble, appreciative, deep, and personable. He was truly outstanding. Far better than we ever could have dreamed, or I ever was!
Cocktail hour -- always a personal favorite. I didn't ever actually see the Magician who I heard was really good. The kids all seemed to like the other cocktail hour entertainemnt "Game Show on Wheels." The hot pastrami station was my personal favorite carving station. But as we do in Kornfeld land, food was in excessive abundance! Passed Lamb chops, crab cakes, spanikova, and chicken skewers to name a few of the passed tastings, carving stations of hot turkey and flank steak, the kids corner with egg rolls, mozzarella, poppers, mini burgers, among others; chicken wings station, the asian station (dumplings, sweet and sours, general tso, lo mein), the tex-mex station (tacos, quesadilla type things), dual pasta stations, cocktail shrimps, and so on and so on. People were stuffed in first 20 minutes! Sun was out so people were able to walk right outside and take in the water view in the fresh air. Well spaced out and deftly handled by the staff. The best part -- plenty of room. Probably needed a second bar but it was big enough and lines for drinks moved quickly.
At about 1 pm we went upstairs. Room was ROCKING. Everything was perfect. DJ was off the charts. Loud, energized. Huge dancefloor. And for the next 4 hours we partied, danced, ate, drank. Chocolate fountain. Surprises during the hora (guest dressed as orthodox jews). Brett and Dawn do a surprise choreographed mother-son dance which will hit You Tube I am sure some time this week. We get re-introduced to the theme from Monday night football. The dancers are in referee jerseys to start. We run through "the crowd" . Kids are hanging getting Iskins, photmagic stuff, in the taligate section, by Brett's Snack shack. The filet, shrimp, checkin combo gets great reviews. Uncle Jon (Brett's godfather) and I do a quasi reprise of our teen years rapping out to The Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" (will show up on the video). The Brett montage is awesome, the DJ and crew are amazingly fun, they do a fast-paced Tv Trivia game, I give a heartfelt speech/toast which competes with the vianese dessert buffet, the ridiculously decadent chocolate fountain and the make your won sundae dessert bar section. USA-Russia hockey, tri air hockey double pop a shot are occupied all day. 80 plus kids are non-stop energy. Dawn and I get in a brief dance of Billy Joel's "You are my home". I notice that all of Brett's girl friends are tall, and look like 19! Eating, playing, dancing, emotional, energized, exhausting amazing party! Room looked incredible, service was impeccable, food excellent and most of all smiles everywhere. But for the "noise" (loud dj and music) adversely affecting those a little more senior or those who had a few drinks at cocktail hour, it was a blast.
Kids on way out get to raid the "candy to go" table! Grab huge bags with take-aways. Growns ups raided the candy table too! Big huge "bags" to go for the long rides home!
After 2 years of Dawn's hard work, and Brett's efforts, it all came together amazingly. It was truly a day for the ages. It was as close to perfect as there is which is no small thing since on these days any one of a million things could go wrong.
KERNEL 1 -- We had the time of our lives.
Pictures and more to follow in the coming weeks. Can't wait for people to see some of what is described here.