Andrew’s Birthday Part I

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.

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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.

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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.

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Andrew also got a birthday cake, and his mom let him chow down on a big piece all to himself.

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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.

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