1 January 2010; Happy Birthday to Sonali, Bornali, and Ganga


It's the new year and the start of 12 birthdays for my 12 girls.  Only one has a real date of birth, and that is Rani, whose mother we found.  In fact she is the only one for whom we have a definite name.  I'm reminded of my immigrant relatives who came to Ellis Island and often left with entirely new names.  Our girls have stories of different names but of the government home giving them names sometimes that were not correct.   One girl tells of arguing and arguing and finally just giving in and saying, "yes, that's my name."  In our early days we tried to sort out the names, and then assigned dates of birth that would allow the girls to be enrolled in school.  Then we taught them to say their names and ages.  Like my immigrant relatives — displaced persons — they don't really know their own age, much less a date of birth. 

I chose 1 January as birthday for Sonali, Bornali, and Ganga.  It's a good way to start the year, to celebrate the new year. (That reminds me, tomorrow is another girl's birthday!)  Birthdays have become pretty routine now and I actually don't stress about them.  The centerpiece is always the cake, usually chosen by the birthday girl on a trip to the cake store that day.  What is in stock is what we get, with the addition of their names.  Gifts are easy because anything will do, trinket, skin cream, powder.  I think the big event is being sung to, being recognized, blowing out a candle, and getting to be the reason we all have cake and celebrate.

The big girls spent the morning making cards and decorations.  They also made New Year's cards.  They can occupy themselves well.  I went shopping last minute and got a musical toy, a plastic bowling set and two English/Hindi VCDs of Bengali Folk Tales.  I'm trying to explain to Sonali about blowing out the candle. 


Here I'm showing her a card.  She uses her left eye and her tongue to check out all new objects.


Here is Bornali on her birthday.  The hands holding all of the girls is to keep them out of the candles and the cake.



And Ganga


I'm trying to tell Ganga how to blow out the candle.  She used to do it in speech therapy.  I tried showing her, but oops, I blew it out.

Rani was not to be left out at all although her birthday had been in November.  Her mother stopped by just to say hello so she was with us for the New Year's birthdays.


 I was giving Rani this card, and she was checking out whether to put it in my mouth or hers.  That's her mother holding her.


This was really a happy party day.  

Jelly was not to be left out so she watched through the window.  The little boy in the picture is Rani's younger brother.

Everyone seemed in the mood for floor play, the big and little ones…, a nice way to tie together the party.



Rani is so involved in everything we do now.  Bornali was having a hard time sitting.  She really can't sit unless someone strong is holding her in place.  So today I met with the carpenter and we are making a floor chair for her so she can sit up on the floor.    She loves sports, games, balls, but can't do much unless she is sitting and stabilized.  Ganga can't either but she is lighter and more flexible, and really doesn't care so much about games.  Ganga is a nerd.  Bornali is a jock.  Sonali is a sweetie.  Rani – she is a music freak, a drummer sometimes out of her mind in her passion for rhythm.

Tomorrow they go back to school.  I've tried to blog a lot, to give a sense of what life is like here.  In a way it's pretty ordinary — kids' performances, holidays, a trip to the village, birthday parties…. and that's really what I had envisioned.   It's good to be able to be thankful for what I wished for.

Tomorrow's uniforms are all hanging, socks folded, sweaters and hats ready.  I'm just hoping that there won't be a missing sock at 5 am, which sometimes happens no matter how much we try to prepare.  Like I said, it's ordinary here.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Purba
    Jan 04, 2010 @ 05:27:40

    Happy Birthday to Sonali, Ganga and Bornali!!!:)



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