This is what Caleb calls his “Bambi eyes” and how he asks for something, he is convinced it will eventually work on me and I will cheerfully hand over my car keys or get him a flamethrower for his birthday.
My desire in these last 3 posts is that our friends and family can “get to know” our boys a little bit but it has hit me how very impossible that goal is. How do you sum up something as multi-faceted as a personality in a few sentences? And it is truly no surprise that this thought comes as I am contemplating Caleb…he, especially, is impossible to sum up. Like with his brothers posts, I will just have to give you random trivia-habits, likes and dislikes and hope it gives an accurate (if fuzzy) picture…
He is quotable. He borrows lines from books and movies and then he will toss out witty observations and one liners (completely straight-faced) that daily make us laugh in wide-eyed wonder at his dry humor. For example:
me-“you are being very kind to your brother!” C-“I’m only civil because I don’t know any swear words.”
to a friend, mentioning his siblings, C responds “Those aren’t your sisters. They’re experiments gone horribly wrong.”
leaving a store, under duress “Give me liberty or give me death! Help me! This woman is NOT my mother! I’m being kidnapped!”
and just a moment ago, while watching a tv show that shared a beautiful, moving feature on organ donors he says…”hmmm, a Frankenstein.”
I suppose these comments might sound like a smart-mouthed ornery brat but once you know his HEART you know his intent is innocent and his joyful goal is in simply “getting the laugh”. We aren’t sure where that comes from (ahem, its a real mystery…) but he loves attention and will dance, sing, tell jokes, do magic tricks, juggle etc-anything for an audience.
He loves to read, and after just a few phonics lessons from me figured the rest out on his own-I was busy with his brothers and didn’t think a 4 year old was ready so he had to take matters into his own hands. Teaching him is a challenge too…finding ways to help him learn without realizing he is being taught by anyone and guiding his strong emotions. He feels things deeply, passionately-both anger and love. We joke somtimes that Caleb was sent to humble us as parents because we do all the same things we did with his brothers but the results with “this one” weren’t the same. This has given us great compassion and grace towards other families and parents we meet. Before becoming his parents, we felt that simple, consistent discipline was missing in kids like Caleb. If we had stopped at 2 we might’ve tried to write a parenting book or some other foolish nonsense, like giving unwanted advice. Now, from the inside, I see the wonderful way our Creator wires us all differently. Yes, consistent discipline is still needed (and given) but more than anything we learned that with some children the heart must be won, and kept, in order for discipline to be accepted and not just have it further a rebellious spirit like gas on a fire. With training our precious Caleb the verse “It’s Your kindness that leads us to repentence, O Lord.” has really come alive for us. We see how tender God is with His kids, how softly and compassionately he guides us, and we strive to do the same.
His chores are to empty the washer and dryer, to tidy his room and to help feed the pets. He loves to help set the table and to help me cook-especially if he gets to use the Pampered Chef slicer or a whisk. He would like to be a chef someday and so he is brushing up his skills by watching “Food Network” as often as we let him. This does not, however, encourage him to try new foods and he is terribly selective (i.e. picky). If in 20 years if you happen to get a hankering for chicken nuggets, cucumber slices, spray cheese and black olives-look for “Chez Caleb” and tip well. I’ll probably be waitressing.
When we chose his name we loved the verse “My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows after me wholeheartedly.” It is amazing, 7 years later to see how different his spirit truly is…the words unique and vivacious don’t do enough justice. We are trusting God for the second half to come true also and for Caleb to eventually devote his passionate self to following after God wholeheartedly!