T his is going to be the most awesome night in the entire world, following on the heels of a stupendous Shabbos. Our whole family flew in for Cousin Shalom’s bar mitzvah, and having all the cousins together has been one super-duper package of fun. Now it’s Motzaei Shabbos, and we’re driving to the hall for a big, festive Melavah Malkah. Too bad we have to leave tomorrow; I wish this weekend would never end. I start humming, and my fingers begin drumming a beat on my lap.

My excitement grows, and with it, my volume. Before my family knows what’s hitting them, tunes are assaulting them at high decibel, bouncing off the windows and echoing through the car.

“Meir, we love your singing…” Tatty begins.

“But right now, we’re trying to follow the GPS,” Mommy continues, “so we need to concentrate.”

“Plus the rain is making it hard to see the street signs,” Tatty adds.

Nodding, I try my hardest to take my excitement and fold it deep inside my pockets until the time is ripe to take it back out. I press my face against the window and watch the passing scenery.

“How long till we get there?” I wonder.

“Recalculating,” the GPS announces.

For some reason, this makes both my parents groan.

“What’s wrong?” I want to know.

“The GPS is taking us in circles,” Tatty says. “We’ve circled this road three times and it keeps leading us to a dead end. I don’t know what to do.”

My mother looks at her watch for the 20th time in two minutes, a sure sign she’s nervous. And suddenly it hits me, like a sudden summer storm that’s burst down, exactly the way this one is pelting us right now. We are lost, really lost, and my cousin’s bar mitzvah party is starting soon! We’re already late for pictures. Will we miss the best parts?

“We’re not going to miss the dancing, are we?” I croak, cracking my knuckles. “Or the speeches? Or the main meal?”

“No, no,” my father’s voice sounds firm. “Don’t worry. This is just a little detour, that’s all. We’ll get there. Somehow.”

“Turn right on Flowers Road,” the GPS directs in an all-knowing voice, and my father lets out a groan.

“It says it’s coming up in three-quarters of a mile,” Mommy reads the map. “Two more minutes and—”

We all gape, blinking when we brake to a stop in front of a dock facing a swirling lake. Somehow this just doesn’t look like the right place. I love swimming and boating, you understand. Just at the right time.

“But the GPS said!” I complain, beginning to sweat. This is one simchah I don’t want to miss. I know Tatty says they’ll wait for us, but how can he be sure? What if everyone gets tired of waiting for a family that’s not showing up? Even if we are relatives, how long can you expect a roomful of guests to wait? (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 667)