We had a fun time today at Amichai’s 4th bday party at school. As I’ve mentioned about a number of things, Israel is simply overflowing with routines. Everyone at a wedding knows the same dances, little kids all seem to know the same songs, and everyone knows what happens at a nursery school birthday party. I’d be curious to see if it’s really that uniform throughout the whole country, but it certainly is where we live! Since Matan’s first birthday party in Israel, every single birthday party has been almost identical. And they take their parties very seriously here!
When we walked in, Amichai and the child he was sharing his party with (whose name is Amitai, if that’s not confusing enough), were sitting at big chairs. They were, as their teacher said, the kings for the day. They each got a crown and they were seated in the center of the action. Years ago, when Josh and I came to visit in 2001, we went to someone’s house for a bbq. We sat down and were immediately yelled at. Duh – didn’t we know, everyone else said…we were sitting on the birthday seats. Turned out there was a bday celebration for 8 year old twins, and we were the only ones in the room who didn’t see how obvious it was that those seats were birthday seats. Everyone here does very similar things for these events!
Anyway, so there was Amichai looking very excited. They put on music and had the kids dance, sing and do all sorts of hand motions. Josh put the crown on Amichai’s head and helped five of Amichai’s friends to lift him on his king’s chair. They had a cake and the whole thing was very cute and very sweet. I love that we don’t have to do birthday parties at home with a big get-up and a lot of money spent. We just have a cute party at school and that’s enough for the kid. It’s very understated and appropriate.
One sad memory in the joy. When I walked into Amichai’s class today, I was immediately struck and had to hold back tears. Josh had the same reaction right after I did, and had to leave the room for a few minutes. We have a picture of Yehuda – in the exact same room with the exact same decorations behind him – celebrating his 4th birthday with his friend, Chanan. It was a very strange experience today to walk into the same room two years later to find Amichai in the same position. That was the last birthday party that Chanan had, and it brought back a lot of memories today. We certainly have to enjoy each day and hug our children as much as possible – you just never know what tomorrow will bring.
Here’s to a beautiful birthday party for our guy, Amichai, and to many, many more years of happiness, love and joy. We love you Amichai.