Chúc mừng năm mới!

According to Vietnamese tradition, spring begins with Tết, the Lunar New Year.

Wednesday was Groundhog Day, and we were having an ice storm, so the groundhog obviously did not see his shadow.  Could it be true?  Is spring on the way?

I was hoping that yesterday, the first day of Tết, would herald spring with a miraculous winter thaw.  Sadly, temperatures remained below freezing, and yet another snow storm is predicted for tomorrow.  I hope it will not foil our plans to celebrate Tết with friends this weekend.

We have already received far more than our yearly allotment of snow, and Son has already taken off more than a couple mornings from work to shovel snow.  We have invested in a pair of snow tires and are tempted to shop for a snow blower.  I suppose that if Son runs out of vacation days, we will be forced to buy a snow blower.

The orchid blooming on my table cheerfully reminds us to celebrate Tết despite the winter wonderland outside.  Son has been faithfully attending the family altar with fruits, incense, candles, and treats.  We had chè and xôi for dessert on the eve of Tết, and we ate bánh chưng for breakfast yesterday.  We spoke with Son’s family, and I wished them, Chúc mừng năm mới! with the best Vietnamese accent I could muster.

I also began my March for Babies fundraising campaign yesterday.  Our three-mile walk benefiting the March of Dimes will take place in Worcester on April 17th.  I thought it would be fitting to begin fundraising 73 days before the March for Babies in memory of the 73 days Peter spent in the NICU.  A few friends have already made generous donations, and I expect that the year of the cat will be a lucky one for them due to their acts of charity during Tết.  If you would like to sponsor my walk, just click on the fundraising progress bar to the right.  If you need me to enumerate the reasons why the March of Dimes deserves your support, you can either click on the fundraising progress bar and read the message on my personal page or wait for a future post on this subject.

I mentioned in a previous post that Vietnamese don’t know anything about birthdays.  That is because they increment age on the Lunar New Year rather than on the anniversary of a person’s birth.  That makes Peter a year old already, by Vietnamese age reckoning.  I’m far from ready to think of Peter as a one-year-old, though.  One-year-olds are supposed to start walking, start drinking cows’ milk, start saying their first words!  No, I’d rather adjust Peter’s age for prematurity and think of him as a 4-month-old.

Peter’s been doing some very 4-month-old-like things lately.  He expresses himself with an assortment of coos, and he laughs at my funny faces as merrily as he laughs at his reflection in the mirror.  Peter loves to bear weight on his legs, despite the Early Intervention therapist’s discouragement of this activity.  He drools all over and will chew on anything, indicating that a tooth may emerge some time in the coming months.  Peter started grabbing toys a couple weeks ago, and he rolled over unassisted for the first time last Monday.  Granted, it was more of a “flip” than a “roll”, and I’m fairly certain that it was done unintentionally, but the event is still going in the baby book:  Monday, January 31, 2011 – Peter rolls from belly to back for the first time!

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