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Muffin and Squeaker: One Year Old Today


Muffin and Squeaker at Ten Months Muffin and Squeaker at Ten Months
Photo ©2010 Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce is expressly denied.



One year ago today, gnomi and I went to Brigham and Women's Hospital, driven over by reporteraliza and arib.

By 9:20 am, we were parents.

By 9:21 am, we were parents of twin baby girls.

A lot has happened in the past year. As I've noted before, Muffin and Squeaker have brought untold joy into our lives, and we're finally starting to get regular sleep again.

The only question is, when and how do we celebrate their birthday?

You see, most years their Gregorian birthday, July 19, will fall in the middle of a period of time on the Hebrew calendar known as the Three Weeks. This is a national period of mourning that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples. When July 19 falls during this period, we'd be reluctant to make any sort of celebration, and that includes birthday celebrations.

This year it's even more poignant, as on the Hebrew calendar today is the 8th of Av. That means we're in the middle of the Nine Days part of the Three Weeks, which is an even higher level of mourning. It culminates in the public fast day of Tisha B'Av (or the 9th of Av), which this year starts tonight and lasts all day tomorrow.

One might suggest that we just celebrate their Hebrew birthday, but that doesn't work either. On the Hebrew calendar, they were born on 27 Tamuz 5769, which is always during the Three Weeks. (This year the day happened to fall on July 9, ten days ago.) So, from a religious perspective, we would never really want to hold a celebration on that day either (unless it were to fall on shabbat).

The solution, however, is obvious. Our current American custom tends to move the celebration of holidays to Mondays, or the next convenient date. In the case of Muffin and Squeaker's birthday, we're holding a small party on next Sunday, July 25, which is after the Three Weeks have already passed. Every year we'll probably do something like that, so we'll celebrate their birthday close to their birthday, if not always on their birthday. Anyone reading this who wishes to attend can let us know; the plan is to serve snacks and cake from about noon to 2 pm.

As for today, we'll introduce the girls to Ring Dings tonight as a dessert (their first taste of chocolate!), to mark their birthday if not necessarily pull out all the stops to celebrate it. And we'll let them start playing with the toys sent from the families of their uncle Josh and their aunt Becky.

Happy birthday, Muffin and Squeaker. Thank you for coming into our lives.

Comments

An alternative suggestion - you could do something siyyum worthy every year, finishing on their birthday, so that every year in addition to the birthday they would have a bit of torah added to their lives.
Oh and regardless - hippy happy birthday to both of them!
Felicitations on the natal day of Muffin and Squeaker, and their first taste of chocolate.
Happy birthday to the girls! Chocolate is a fine birthday present! Take video--it can get messy!
Great picture! Very cute little girls.
Happy birthday to the girls! They are very, very cute. A Ring Ding is just the right size as a special treat for a one year old.
I think moving it as needed is a great plan. My birthday is in August and when I was younger it competed with back to school shopping needs. It often got shifted around accordingly. I know it isn't the same kind of reason, but the shifting wasn't such a big deal. My moms always made my birthday special.
"I know it isn't the same kind of reason"

Still, any reason why a birthday has to be moved is a valid one. When I was growing up, I had friends with summer birthdays who felt they got cheated out of celebrating with their friends at school. I'm hoping that nowadays schools will make a point of acknowledging these birthdays at the start or end of the school year.

And I feel for those people whose birthdays fall in late December, especially December 25...
A's birthday is the 6th of Av, so we have the same problem. This year, she's lucky, her Gregorian birthday isn't for two weeks. I've found she doesn't mind a small marking-of-her-actual-birthday, followed by a bigger celebration at another time. For her, it's just an extension of her birthday.
I know of someone who celebrates his birthday on all the days between his Hebrew and Gregorian birthday, inclusive.
In this neck of the woods, the intervening days are referred to as "Hol ha-Moed Birthday" :-)

(not that this helps with the actual timing thereof....)

Wishing happy birthday and happy birthday observed as appropriate!
Happy birthday, little girlies!
As the parent of a kid whose birthday falls in a secularly inconvenient time, we've found moving the party before or after has really helped us (add in Katie's near to Thanksgiving, and my kids will be thanking us for our spectacularly poor planning for the rest of their lives).

Ben just thinks his birthday lasts for a couple of weeks. Katie is still oblivious and likely will be for another year or two.
Mazel tov, and many happy birthday greetings to the girls!

We're used to shifting birthday celebrations in our house. Christina's birthday usually falls during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, so the party date varies by as much as two weeks (depending on whether we are able to do it before or after the holiday). Austin's falls on "Little Christmas" every year, and it can be difficult to get the whole extended family together for his parties, plus the added difficulty of having to set the date, and invite his friends before school lets out three weeks before.

The important thing for us is not when the party is held, but what we do on the day of the actual birthday. Our custom is to greet the birthday person at their bedside in the morning, sing a round of "Happy Birthday", and give them cards and small gifts. The birthday person also gets to choose the dinner menu and/or location for their birthday dinner that day. Of course, your girls may not be ready to make such important decisions yet, though I assure you that after today, they'll want Ring Dings for dinner quite often. :)
Happy Birthday!

So much to commemorate at once. Birthdays, becoming parents, first experience with chocolate...
Oh, they're adorable. Happy Birthday to Muffin and Squeaker!

Happy Birthday!

Congratulations! And your kids are lucky... Hadassah is over a year old and hasn't had her first taste of chocolate yet. (Though I did absent-mindedly stick a lollipop in her mouth a few months ago, and only realized my mistake when Shoshana yelled, "That's mine!")
The photo is adorable!! And I love the idea of writing on the calendar Muffin and Squeaker b-day observed :). Happy Birthday to both of them!!
Happy birthday to the birthday girls!
Adorable photo! Happy birthday to them!!!

Hey, congratulations! My daughter turned one just 8 days ago, and since sometime before her birth I've largely been off LJ, so I had no idea you had twins! They're beautiful!
We'll hope to join you (assuming/hoping that H has a better weekend than this past one)...
Happy birthday!

Moving birthday celebrations around is pretty normal in my experience, but if you want to do something on that day in the future, I second the siyyum suggestion as a way to celebrate them, torah, and learning all together.

Happy birthday to the girls! I can't belive it's been a year already!
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