Eight years ago, we celebrated the first birthday of Asha and Enoch’s first male cousin – our wonderful Ashish Christopher Ion Eicher!
This June 25th we celebrated Ashish’s 9th Birthday anniversary! And when we say we, it was not just Stefan and Neeru, Ashish, Asha, Enoch and Sheba and myself.
This time we had a whole dozen Eichers! Oma and Opa (here for Dad’s post-op recovery and chemotherapy), Stefan and Neeru with their lovely three of Ashish, Anjali and Anita – and the Thane Eichers are now 5 too – with Yohan joining Asha and Enoch this year!
And what a marvellous young man he is growing into. Fleet of foot and always adept with bat and ball - or foot and ball - as well as a master of the lego game universe - it is a delight to have Ashish with us and a joy to celebrate 9 sun-spins of grace in his life!
When we look back to the small fellow he was then - and see him now - just at the cusp of adolesence - we are amazed at God's goodness and faithfulness to us all.
Who would have thought 2 sisters would be added to his family? It is lovely to see how gentle Ashish is with them (most of the time at least). And with Enoch and Ashish growing up together, we can see two boys with similar interests blossoming as cousin-friends (something that Stefan, Premi and I did not have in our growing up years). Enoch supervised Oma's purchase of a Chelsea FC football as a gift for Ashish and the two are pretty inseperable - much to our delight of course.
Birthday's demand parties of course!
And being privileged to have hosted Ashish's very first B-day bash - it was a treat to be able to have a small celebration for his 9th!
We are no longer in the days when Ashish can be easily carried by Asha like back in that day!
The cake back then was in the shape of his interest as a one-year-old: Ashish loved to 'join in' with his Daddy when Stefan played guitar - and was actually given a small guitar a bit later which finally fell to bits with Ashish's loving playing of it!
When you have a cake, you have to sing the 'B-day song' too! We sung it way back in 2007....
And we sung it again in 2015 - with more voices and Opa's specially loooooong rendering of "we're sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad God made you"
Back in the day, we were not able to really play any 'games' together. That has of course all changed - and with 6 cousins, there were enough to make 2 teams!
This birthday may be the last one that the cousins will be celebrating together for the near future - since Stefan and family are shifting to Indianapolis at the end of July where he will be pursuing a 2 year Masters of Fine Arts programme in painting!
So these days that Stefan and family are spending with us are very precious - and much appreciated.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of our lives, it is wonderful to have the family with us.
The house is never silent these days of course - and there is always something going on in some corner of the home - and usually in most places all at once!
It may be a book being read out to the 'little ones' or a game being played - or a book being read while a painting is being carefully done by our youngest artist!
This young maestro has at times brought in a new innovation to painting. Why be content with using a paint brush to bring life to the picture - why not us one's hair for the sake of art?
There are also various games going on computers and on the floor as Enoch's beloved caps are put to good use for football matches between the male cousins.
We even managed to squeeze in an historic game of Risk, where the Eicher bros and their sons took to conquering the world. The game was halted with Yohan in the lead - due to a cease-fire called because of supper for the 12 of us. I wish more wars would end because of dinner-time!
Anita participated as chief dice-thrower for her Daddy, and Anjali arranged the soldiers and horses and cannons with military precision. A good parade ground drilling for those not on active duty in one of the boys' armies...
Being together for the first time as the 12 of us means that a lot of photos are being taken!
We have 4 more precious days with our Delhi Eichers - who are soon to be the 'Indianapolis Eichers.' How best to use these days, these hours, these minutes that are slipping by so fast? Why does it always seem that the things we look forward too, suddenly crop up and rush by in a blaze of speed, leaving us with only memories to cling on to?
So we have these days to cherish - days that are being lived out in the here-and-now - and we have the future to remember today.
In the mean time - it's time to dive into all that God has for us as families.
Including the amazing sight of our 77 year-old Oma jumping into the pool with her now 9-year-old grandson Ashish!
============================p.s. all the good pictures in this post were taken by Stefan! Thanks for sharing them!