Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kenny's 100th Day Celebration

In typical new mom fashion, I'm posting something like three months after the fact, because my blog is no longer my baby...  forgive me!  But I wanted to share about Kenny's 100th Day Celebration from back in May.

In Korea, a "baek-il" celebrates a baby turning 100 days old.  Before more modern times, infant mortality was pretty high, so people often didn't show off their new baby until it was a few months old.  That indicated it had a better chance of survival, having made it to the 100-day milestone.

Now, it's an opportunity for families to show off their baby and have a party!  In Korea, many people now throw huge parties  for the baek-il as well as the "dol", or 1st birthday party.  We do plan to throw Kenny a Korean-American style dol next year!

Since Kenny came early, my original plan to visit Indiana with him during my maternity leave wasn't possible.  That meant most of my extended family hadn't met him yet.  So we planned on having some "open house" hours at my parents' house for people to come visit.  Well, once Gigi (my Mom's grandmother name) figured out she could show off her first grandchild, suddenly this was a bigger deal!

One of the traditions at a baek-il is to offer ricecakes to 100 people, to bring longevity to the baby and good luck.  Since Kenny is 1/4 Korean, we thought that maybe something like cookies would be fun!  We handed out cookies at the party, and the leftovers came with me to work.  We gave away well over 100 cookies, all individually wrapped and decorated by Mom and me.

The day of the party, tons of family and friends came to visit, including Mom's coworkers.  It was nice to show off Kenny, who behaved pretty well!  He wasn't (and isn't) at the "stranger danger" age, so he was content to be passed around.

I was really happy that my Mom could share this Korean tradition with Kenny.  I feel like she sometimes held back with us when it came to her culture, so my sister and I grew up very much all-American, English-speaking kids.  Now that I'm older, I want to embrace more of my heritage; I embrace my father's side through the DAR and genealogy, and I'm finding ways to incorporate Korean culture and language into my life where I can.

P.S.  Kenny's 100th Day weekend was also my first Mother's Day weekend!  Kenny did a potholder project at daycare (let's be real... his teachers used his feet as a stamp!) for me, and Dan gifted me a digital photo frame for my desk at work, so I could rotate photos of Kenny all day while I work.  I look at it every day!

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