As Tenille well knows, having a Birthday any time near Christmas is a recipe for neglect. (Her birthday is between Christmas and New Year’s.) But, we were able to celebrate Andrew’s first Birthday with our family on New Year’s Day and make it a special event.
The first birthday is a special event in Korea. Mostly because many babies did not make it to their first birthday back in the day. Typically, the baby is dressed in traditional Korean clothes. There’s a bunch of food. And, the baby is presented with items on a table that is supposed to foretell something about the baby’s future.
For Andrew’s birthday, our whole family decided to dress up in traditional Korean clothes. It was a good excuse for Tenille and I to don the clothes that we haven’t worn since our wedding. I haven’t noticed this before, but the Korean belt system was not so effective. The pants are like a big boat that you get inside, then the belt is used to cinch it up and hopefully hold up the pants. Neither Caleb nor I found much success in making this belt system work effectively for us. There are some funny pictures of Caleb illustrating this point, but probably not appropriate for the Internet.
For Andrew’s Toljaebee, which is the event where he picks out an item that foretells his future, we laid out before him the following items:
1. Sailboat – traveler
2. Yarn – traditionally supposed to be long thread symbolizing long life
3. Pliers – Skilled with hands
4. Accordion – Musical talent
5. Money – self-explanatory
6. Book – academic success
Andrew first went for the yarn. Then, he grabbed the pliers. Finally, he grabbed the money and waved it around for a while. We can try to read into what this might mean, but if you were there, you would have noticed that proximity had a significant role in his choices.
Andrew also got a birthday cake, and his mom let him chow down on a big piece all to himself.
Finally, he got a song sung to him by his mom and dad. We’re hoping that this might be a tradition for his birthday, much like the puppet shows for Caleb’s birthdays.
Although, it’s probably not as fun to have your birthday stuck in the midst of the Holidays, a silver lining is that Andrew will get a Birthday Party Round II next week when we go on vacation with Tenille’s side of the family. Automatic 24 guests of which 12 are kids.