Senne Helway Ya Gameel

Miriam Damascus and neighborhood cronies Rennt, Tina, and birthday girl Natalie.

We were just about to put Miriam in the tub for her pre-bedtime bath the other night when the doorbell rang. It was our upstairs neighbors, Lulu and Tina. They cordially invited Miriam to their younger sister’s birthday party, which happened to be starting right that moment. We ran upstairs to join in the fun. All the kids in the building were there, plus a few from across the street and, of course, the elderly grandmother.

There were lots of sweets to be eaten and a few minor presents to be opened. We also sang “Happy Birthday,” followed immediately by “Senne Helway Ya Gameel.” (Video forthcoming). Then we moms chatted while the kids played. I did my best to contribute to the conversation, even though I kept getting interrupted by the elderly grandmother asking me why I hadn’t finished my plate of sweets (answer: because there was so much of it and I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it all). Then, inexplicably, she started slipping me bread, olives, and cheese. I managed to eat most of it politely and disguise the rest in a tissue as if it was full of discarded olive pits. It’s not that it wasn’t delicious – it’s just that my tummy was already very full of some choice high-calorie foods.

Then it really was Miriam’s bedtime, or actually way past it, and so the fun ended. Since then, however, Miriam has insisted on blowing out every match I use to light the stove. Good practice for when her own birthday comes in September, I guess.

MuHajibba Miriam

Executive Miriam