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Happy Birthday, Ahuva and Roni Bear!

Yael Mermelstein

My birthday is 7 Tammuz. Guess when Roni’s birthday is? Also 7 Tammuz! Ima says that Roni was my birthday present when I turned three.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Photo: Nechama Leibler

My birthday is on 7 Tammuz. It’s a great day to have a birthday as it’s usually warm and sunny out and there are always ripe, juicy watermelons to eat for dessert at my party. 

Guess when Roni’s birthday is? Also 7 Tammuz! Of course I’m turning 11 this year and he’s only turning 8 so his birthday is always less important than mine. But I don’t mind sharing a birthday with Roni. Ima says that Roni was my birthday present when I turned three. I personally think that’s a lame excuse for a present, but I don’t think my mother would appreciate if I told her that. 

The good thing about sharing a birthday with a sibling is that your parents don’t mind making a big party and a fancy cake since it’s two people’s birthdays, not just one. My mother always says it’s like killing two birds with one stone, which sounds a lot more awful than what it means. 

But anyway. I think that since this year I’m turning 11, which is one year short of 12, which is really the most important birthday for me, there needs to be a big celebration. Like a pre–bas mitzvah. Of course I’m not going to deny Roni his special day too! So I go to his room to inform him of my plans. 

“Hey, Roni,” I say. The door to his room is open but his back is to me. He’s hunched over on the floor, busy with something.

Photo: Nechama Leibler

“What do you want?” he says, without even turning around. 

“I want to talk to you about our birthday party,” I tell him. 

He looks over his shoulder. “It’s not for another week,” he says. 

“I know,” I say, “but if we want it to be special then we have to start planning it now.” 

Roni shakes his head. “I think Ima does a good enough job planning our parties on her own. I don’t know why we have to do stuff too. I’m doing my homework now. I have tons of homework. I have mountains of homework. I don’t have time to plan parties.” 

Can I ask you a question? Do you know of any other almost eight-year-old kid who’d rather do homework than plan his own birthday party? I think someone needs to take Roni to the doctor because something must be seriously wrong with him. I mean, I always hear Ima saying that he “struggles with schoolwork” and I know he needs to work hard, but still.

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