|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.