This evening we celebrated the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Josh’s parents came over and we sang the blessings before having a meal including apples dipped in honey for a sweet year. I am proud to have mastered brisket recipe shared from a coworker. AJ and JJ loved the brisket so much they asked for second and third helpings until it was completely devoured!
In other news, AJ and JJ have started third grade. They are matched with two teachers that work as a team this year. One teacher focuses on math, the other focuses on reading and writing. They swap classes in the afternoon, so AJ and JJ are working on the same things with the same teachers while separated through the course of the day. A wonderful benefit from this arrangement is that the boys have the same homework sent home each day. This is much less confusing for Josh and I to supervise, and all we have to do is make sure they don’t cheat off each other’s work. The school year seems to have gotten off to a sweet start!
Today is Chinese New Year! It is the Year of the Sheep. JJ and AJ were born in the Year of the Pig, and DJ and MJ were born in the Year of the Snake. The kids dressed in outfits to celebrate their Chinese heritage and I took some photos. I am particularly proud of the one with all four kids smiling. That is no easy feat these days!
Yesterday we held a bris and baby naming for MJ and DJ at our home. The bris is a rite of passage in the Jewish faith when male babies are traditionally circumcised on the 8th day of life. However, in our case MJ was in India on his 8th day of life and a Mohel to perform the bris, or any other Jewish person for that matter, was tough to locate at the time. So we settled for 8 days after arriving home in the US. The Mohel we found was quite personable and swift. He is multi talented as an actor and a martial artist. He even arrived wearing a yarmulke with Chinese calligraphy embroidered on it! The procedure itself was very fast, but there was some ceremony before and after, as well as a baby naming to bestow a blessing and a Hebrew name upon DJ that served as an opportunity for some close friends and family to gather and meet the babies for the first time.
As with our first set of twins AJ and JJ, DJ and MJ are genetically half Asian and half Caucasian. We intend to raise all four of our children with a blend of traditions from both sides of the family. I was not raised religious, so I am glad to have Josh raising the kids following Judaism. So you see, the Chinese and Jewish have a history of special relationships. Anyone running a Chinese restaurant (as members of my family have) open on Christmas can attest to that fact!