The plan for the day has been made, revised, edited and changed several times. The boy is SO excited he can’t make up his mind! Dad is getting off work early, and the grandparents drove back from Portland this morning-this is a BIG deal, people! We had to have Freschetta Four-Cheese pizza and Del Monte pineapple rings for lunch (Yes. He was THAT specific.) We had planned on going to watch the “Star Wars Clone Wars” movie; but it is no longer in theatres, so we are going to Chuck E Cheese (its a kiddy casino) for games. Stopping off at Toys R Us to spend his gift money, then Olive Garden for dinner. Back home for Ice Cream Cake with Grandma and Grampa.
His gifts? A Star Wars Lego set. Jonathon Park #5 Audiobook. 3 York Peppermint patties. and a fat goldfish he promptly named “Kento” after some video game character. “Finally. a pet that doesn’t attack me.”
This was the scene 9 years ago, today. Grandma Claudia is still head-over-heels in love with Caleb and I am still exhausted by him, but the most marked difference is in the child himself.
Yes. He is quite mature for nine. The goatee turns heads, for sure.
Look at those blue eyes! As babies, both Josiah and Sam’s eyes were gray-blue for months and it was hard to tell what they would mature to. Eventually Josiah’s turned to brown-hazel, and Sam’s eyes seem to get a little greener with each passing year. But Caleb’s were sparkly bright blue immediately, and stayed that way.
6, 4 and 2 years old. People commented everywhere we went on our “large family” (what does it say about our society when any deviation from 2 children is considered abnormal?) on “how close they are in age!” (2 years apart? It made them built-in buddies, enjoying the same interests-toys and hobbies, even now) and the (still, today) “Wow. All boys, huh? You poor thing! Just kept trying for that girl, eh?”
This is the comment that set my teeth on edge the most. I rarely said anything because I realized the ignorance behind the words. Boys have a reputation for wildness and difficulty but more than that, most people just don’t THINK. Were they really meaning to suggest that a baby girl was first prize? and poor me that I had to “settle” for these wonderful, healthy, adorable but inferior male children? Because of these situations I have more grace than I used to…I hope I think a little more before I speak…and I certainly try not to make assumptions or ask questions of families that have more, or less, or different spacing, different genders etc than I have.
Our family was created perfectly by a Designer who knew what WE needed. Oh yes, I hoped for a girl at the start of that 3rd pregnancy but when I saw the ultrasound (spotted the proof before the technician because I was an expert by then) and knew this was another son inside me? I started to cry with relief. I was SO happy. I had been terrified that I would feel disappointment if it wasn’t a girl, and when the knowing came, the joy was so instant.
I loved him from the start.
Last night Caleb came in to our bedroom and climbed up onto my lap.
He wrapped his skinny arms around me, looked in my eyes and said, very solemnly,
“This is your last chance to hug my 8 year old self.”
And I hugged him fiercely as my eyes teared up. Because, of course, he is right.
But my comfort is still this…he will always be my baby.