Spies Like Us / by Susie Lubell


Dear Sugar Bee,

It’s been quite an adventure - certainly this last year as you prepared for your Bat Mitzvah, but also the last twelve years, as you crisscrossed the globe and faced challenges and fears. You have grown into a spectacular young woman.

There have been many standout moments that none of us will ever forget. And we can add today to that list. Of course I wrote this blessing for you before you read torah and haftorah beautifully and gave your wonderful drasha. But I watched you prepare for this moment so diligently. You worked so hard this year. Between school and scouts and gymnastics and ballet, you managed to make time for your bat mitzvah chug and your lessons with Rabbi Stacey. And we couldn’t be more proud of how much you’ve accomplished. I think you exceeded even your own expectations.

That’s happened more than once in your twelve short years, when you were like, Dang, I’m goooood. Kicked butt on a test. Got chosen for an award. Always a little bit surprised by just how far you can get when you set your mind to something. But one time in particular comes to mind and that was your first judo meet. You were seven. You didn’t want to compete. You were close to tears. But with a little encouragement form your coach you got on the mat. The referee called Ajime and something extraordinary happened. You absolutely went for it. You became The Pixie Ninja. With your ponytail bouncing you pranced over to your opponent and threw him down like a sack of potatoes. Again and again. That poor little boy didn’t know what hit him and I think you were equally astonished.

Now, you no longer practice Judo. You’ve moved on to other sports and interests. But the Pixie Ninja lives on in you. In that same spritely, yet strategic way, and always with your signature ponytail, you can walk into a room and make an immediate and accurate assessment. Who’s mad. Who’s sad. Who needs a friend. Who needs a hug. Who needs help and what needs to be done. You have a heightened awareness of the energy happening around you. Your emotional intelligence soars far above most adults that we know. You have incredible empathy and you fearlessly navigate your relationships with respect and sensitivity. It all just comes naturally to you. For these reasons you are a true friend, someone who works hard to include others, and the kind of sister that you and I both wish we had.

You are such a blessing to this family and this community but especially to Aba and me. Your enthusiasm, positivity, sense of humor and fierce love is a kind of glue that binds us all together. Like the five ton bottle of Elmers you bought last summer so that you could make twelve tons of slime. Like that. 

I wish for you to always be yourself, Sugar Bee. Stay curious and alert. Listen to the whispers of your inner compass and follow your intuition. Work hard. And definitely go for it. Ajime.

I love you meeces to pieces.