We are a month out from Enoch's birthday on the 19th of February.... but the warmth of our time together continues to seep into our lives.
Somehow it all hit off perfectly.
Paper stars and moons and planets went up in a jiffy. For the next week we lived in space.
Our nation is trying to put together a manned space programme. Just making a spaceship cake was a challenge itself. Hats off to the folks at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) who are actually trying to put Indians in space. Yesterday's paper had an article about whether they should be making chappati's and sabji for the future space-farers - or idlis and dosas! For some reason they seem to have forgotten our North-Eastern brothers and sisters. Surely they could not go to space without some pork to keep them going?
But back to earth and the amazing 19th of Feb bash that we had for Enoch's birthday (on the 18th this year to set the record straight).
As in previous years - a cake was made.
The trust commander of this fair ship had an unawaited destination. Not the edges of outer space - where few have even hopes of going - given the current state of rocketry... but into the glad stomaches of all who came to celebrate with our Enoch on his special day!
My Dad thrilled us each year with a wonderful cake for our Birthday parties. Its such a privilege to carry on the practice.
Like so many things - it took a long time to prepare - and then the actual moment flew by in what seemed a whiz and a bang!
The 9 candles represent 9 years of delight that Enoch brings us.
We are so grateful to God for this wonderful boy!
Enoch shares a birthday with the great hero of Maharashtra - the great Maratha Maharaja Shivaji.
What kind of a mark will Enoch make in life - should he graciously receive another 9 years - and then perhaps another 9 more ... what if we gets 10 sets of 9? Our hope is that Enoch's life will make a difference. We celebrate each passing year as a proof of God's grace to us. And are so thankful to be living this life!
Enoch was born in the old Lok Hospital. Every work I day I spend time in the room where he was born. What was then the operating theatre which saw Enoch enter the world after a C-section at 2.30 PM - is now our training and staff meeting room. Every morning we have our staff devotions in the room where our wonderful son was born!
Enoch's party was a time to rejoice with his little friends.
But not everyone at the party was small.
We are privileged to have so many people who love us.
People like Agnes Didi who works as a nurse at JSK and who is also Sheba's cousin.
And though neither of the grandparents were with us this year we had another honorary family member with us - the amazing Philip B!
Coming down from cold Delhi for a weekend stay with us - Phil arrived on one of our annual highlights - Enoch's long-awaited birthday!
Keeping with the Space Theme - Phil presented Enoch with a beautiful book on space exploration.
You really wish that we could actually break out from our gravity bound sphere and soar far away. Barring some kind of drastically new technology, some radically different way understanding of harnessing our energy to send people into outer space, the most feasible thought would be for people to expect that their whole lives (and maybe even generations) would be spent on a single space mission.
But back to our party...
We had the usual bundle of silly games.
Lead 5 people in physical exercises! Act like a monkey! Tell us what you like about Enoch! .... whatever was written on the chit that you 'drew' from the bag - was a command - and had to be obeyed.
Needless to say - much laughter rippled through the group.
Being a birthday party with a space theme we tried something different this time. We asked Enoch's friends to come in fancy dress on the space theme. Enoch and Asha worked hard to make their contribution count!
The Eicher Space team was launched at the party, complete with what looks like a very recyclable space-craft!
We are particularly happy that neither Enoch nor Asha asked for help in the designing and 'building' their costume!
Our learned judges met each one of the particiapnts. Some had only worn T-shirts that had a vague space theme on it. But the hands-down winner was Enoch's friend Haniel!
According to his mother, Haniel single-handedly made the spaceman outfit.
And then he did a little demonstration - showing himself to be more than a little knowledge about how spacemen move around outside their craft.
Watching Haniel's graceful movements, we could imagine the joys and terrors of being outside with the black sky on all sides of you as you do the tasks set for you....
But remaining still firmly grounded on earth - the Eicher siblings then gave us a small concert - something that all Enoch's friends (and all the adults in the room too) enjoyed thoroughly.
I then shared the Bible passage that we had chosen for Enoch this year - about fanning the gift that we have been given into flame.
Some snacks later and soon our home was emptying itself as the excited boys start to move to their homes.
But one thing that did not empty or in anyway see a shortage of, was the vast treasure house of smiles that were plastered all over our faces.
We were tired - having been tired even when we started out the organising and then actually preparing for and running the party. But God filled us with His joy! Its so important to keep our focus on Him and live out our lives as families in ways that are really please Him. Celebrations - like this one where we thank God for 9 years of life which Enoch has lived - are so important.