I’ve made no secret of the fact that Israeli gannenets and their unique foibles and idiosyncrasies amuse me to no end.
But just when I think I’ve seen it all, those crafty gannenets find yet another way to make me laugh.
Here’s what happened:
As parents of autumn babies are well-aware, gan birthday parties are never held during the first two or three months of the school year.
After all, each of the country’s gannenets has a different set of birthday songs and rites, and it takes time to teach all the particulars to the children.
Moreover, at the beginning of the year, the gannenets are busy focusing on Rosh Hashanah and the other Tishrei festivals, and so they don’t have time for birthday parties.
Hence, children who were born in September, October, and even November are forced to wait for their celebrations.
Yet, in theory, during the rest of the school year, the parties are scheduled on or about the actual birthdates. (Except, of course, for children born in the summer, whose parties are crammed into the final weeks of the school year. But I digress…)
Now, as it so happened, a certain gannenet went on maternity leave just before Rosh Chodesh Adar.
And her substitute announced that because of Purim and Pesach, she would have no time to deal with any birthday parties during the months of Adar and Nissan.
Therefore, she explained to the bemused parents and children, she was imposing a moratorium on birthday parties until after Pesach.
But when the kids returned to gan after vacation, the substitute gannenet apologetically extended the moratorium for an additional two weeks.
You see, she felt that she had not yet mastered all the minutiae of birthday parties in this particular gan, and so she first wanted to conduct a trial run.
In practical terms, this meant that two dolls were feted by the children, as the substitute gannenet took copious notes.
And when the mock-party was over, she formally revoked the moratorium, and then, the first real birthday party in a very long time was held – in all its ritualistic glory – this morning.
Happy delayed birthday to ACGAC* and the two other celebrants!
I should note that there was originally supposed to have been a fourth celebrant. However, one little boy refused to participate. He said that since his actual birthday was so long ago, he was now totally over it.
Apparently, a career as a gannenet isn’t in this little boy’s future…
!שבת שלום ומבורך
*ACGAC=a certain gan age child of my acquaintance