You Pick Two

June 7, 2010 § 4 Comments

If all Hiram’s birthday parties are as fun as his first one, then his birthday is my new favorite holiday. We had a total blast.

My favorite part was what we have elegantly dubbed the “picking ceremony.”  We found out about this ceremony from Megan’s sister who adopted two kids from Korea. My brother is also adopted from Korea so we thought it was a nice tie for our family too. Plus it sounded like so much fun.

So what is the picking ceremony? Basically, an adorable little process where you put a tray of items in front of your baby to see what they pick. Whatever they pick determines their future!

The items on the tray are pretty much up to the parent’s discretion, but there are a few traditional items we included which were:

  • Ruler = Engineer
  • Pencil = Scholar
  • Thread = Long Life

We also made up a few of our own:

  • Rock = Lover of the Earth
  • Snap Pea = Nurturer
  • Mirror = Self Awareness
  • Paintbrush = Lover of the Arts
  • Drum Stick = Rock Star

One other important thing to mention is that there is a traditional Korean outfit that goes along with this ceremony. Megan’s sister let us borrow the one she got from Korea, which was so beautiful and such a generous thing to do. Putting the outfit on Hiram made me feel so proud to be his mama.

So, are you dying to know what he picked? So were we! He took absolutely forever to decide. For once, the boy sat motionless — hunched over the tray in his puffy little hat, jacket, pants and booties. He didn’t move a muscle as he looked at the tray. The rest of us held our breath…

Finally, his little had started to move. His fingers lingered above the drum stick. You could hear a unified gasp as everyone in the room realized Hiram was going to live the life of a rock star! But then. He changed his mind. He lifted his hand back up and left the drum stick in its place. He resumed his deliberation.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I started to get impatient and did what I promised myself I would not do, which was attempt to influence his choice. I rattled the pencil against the drumstick. I wiggled the snap pea. But Hiram was not to be manipulated so easily. He just sat there waiting for his tittering mama to stop acting like a crazy lady.

Then, finally. His hand started to move again. The room was silent as we watched. Hiram. Picked. The paintbrush! Boy! Did he pick the paintbrush. Once he decided on it, he picked it with all his might. A deliberate pick. A commitment indeed. He picked it and wiggled it and smiled as the room erupted in cheers for Hiram, the Lover of the Arts.  “A perfect choice!” we exclaimed! “Hurray!”

But it wasn’t over yet. The rules say two items must be picked. So we had one more item to go. His second choice came more easily. The mirror it was for choice number two. Self-awareness. Very nice. A strong second choice, my son. A strong second choice.  

Oh, his birthday was like a great book you just don’t want to end. The friends and family who came to help celebrate. The delicious grilled lunch and farmer’s market fare. The cupcakes and subsequent bath. It was more than I ever thought it could be. Happy, Happy Birthday my little man.


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