Today my little cutie turned three years old! He’s been anticipating his birthday very eagerly for a long time – seeing everyone else celebrating birthdays keeps the birthday concept fresh in his mind. And because this is turning three, we’ve been talking with him about how special that age is, getting to wear a yarmulke, tzitzis, and do lots of mitzvos.
After breakfast we took everyone to the duck pond for his birthday trip. It was a multi purpose trip – it served as a venue to get rid of the last of our chometz, as well as a very nice outing with all of the kids! We planned to use the leftover challah for the ducks, and took along some pretzels and bow tie cookies for the kids to snack on after feeding the ducks. But they had so much fun feeding the ducks the bread, that they wanted to continue and gave them all of their snacks, too! I didn’t mind that one bit! On the way there, I bought ice cream sandwiches for ds3 to give out to the others in honor of his birthday, so they did have a birthday snack that they all enjoyed.
While we were there, my kids noticed a mother goose on top of her nest – they were walking by when she started hissing at them, then got up off of it and covered it (so they wouldn’t see the egg, I guess). They ran to me and told me they wanted to do the mitzva of shiluach haken (sending away the mother bird), but I told them that if they took a big stick and chased the goose away and there was someone watching who didn’t know what they were doing, it would be a huge chillul H-shem (desecration of G-d’s name) and so they couldn’t chance that. Anyway, I said, there’s no mitzva to do it if you’re not going to eat the egg. And they promptly corrected me and told me that my dh learned this mitzva with them recently, and explained to me why (very beautiful concept but not going to go into it here). I told them if they could do it without it looking like they were chasing the bird, it was fine.
One child led the father duck away, then the mother followed, and ds15 lifted the egg from the nest. Then ds14 told him he didn’t fulfill the mitzva because he didn’t lift it high enough, so he went back and lifted it again, higher this time. The mother and father goose, during this time, were blissfully swimming in the pond, clearly thinking they had faked out the kids by covering the egg. Though we’re not sure that they did the mitzva properly because they didn’t actually shoo the mother away, but kind of waited for her to lose her sense of being threatened and then led her away, they still all feel good about the opportunity.
When dh came home from work, we all took turns snipping the birthday boy’s hair, and then dh and ds15 finished the job. While we were cutting his hair, I had a sudden tug of sadness. It’s one of those unexpected moments of poignancy that hits out of the blue, as you suddenly feel a sense of time moving on, of having completed one stage and moving on to another. Dh felt it, too. As far as the haircut itself, they did a great job on his haircut – he looks really adorable!
Afterwards we had a special dinner with a Pesach chocolate chip cake and macaroons. Then we headed to my inlaws for them to admire his new look, and lastly, dh took him to our rav for a brocha.
I’m glad that we were able to have a relaxed day like this to ‘celebrate’, albeit in our low keyed way. If I was in the middle of Pesach preparations, I don’t think I could have as easily spent a day not doing anything in the house at all. So I’m really glad we got everything basically out of the way – now, on to the cooking!