Here is mine:
In this photo, Esme is celebrating her first birthday, and she's busy choosing a toothbrush from the Tol table. The Tol ceremony is a Korean tradition for babies on their first birthday. In Korea, babies are dressed in the hanbok, and there are tables groaning with amazing ceremonial foods for celebrating. The Tol table is laid out with items that symbolize different professions or blessings for a person's life. A few items on the traditional table are:
- bow and arrow: the child will become a warrior
- needle and thread: the child will live long
- jujube: the child will have many descendants
- book, pencil, or related items: the child will become a successful scholar
- rice or rice cake: the child will become rich (some resources say choosing a rice cake means the child is not smart)
- ruler, needle, scissors: the child will be talented with his/her hands
- knife: the child will be a good cook
The child is seated on a cushion in front of all of these items, and the first two things he or she chooses are supposed to predict the direction of his or her career or life.
We are not Korean by culture or birth, but when we adopted Ada from Korea, we decided to incorporate many Korean traditions into our family celebrations. Not being raised with these traditions makes it difficult to to it entirely authentically, obviously. But it also affords us some flexibility. For instance, at Ada's tol party, we added a few extras to the tol table, including a thermometer (for a doctor). Ada, being herself, first chose the thermometer and then the needle and thread. On the video of this event, you can hear me lapse into a throaty cheer, not unlike a good Yiddish mama, "She's a doctor! And she has long life! Yea baby!" I guess I channeled Barbra Streisand for a minute or something.
For Esme's tol table, we added yet another few choices: a small plane (pilot) and a toothbrush (dentist). She chose the toothbrush first, and then a measuring cup (a chef, perhaps?). Ada likes to remind Esme that she's "going to be a dentist who likes to cook." Time will tell. She does like to brush her teeth and floss an awful lot, come to think of it....
Now to tag four more:
and I know she's been tagged already, but I second it:
Tag, you're all it!
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