Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birthday Boys

Three dozen cupcakes rest on my kitchen island, smothered in green icing with plastic lizards perched on the tops. Tomorrow, they'll be served to Caleb's third grade class as birthday treats. In just a few hours, Caleb turns nine. Just writing it chokes me up. It forces me to reflect on the last nine years.

Caleb arrived in the world in his way, on his terms. Right off the bat, his authentic personality emerged. He was smart. Enamored with letters while still clad in diapers. An early reader that touted an advanced vocabulary and unique obsessions. But, he also had strong opinions and multiple sensitivities. We've spent the last nine years building on his gifts, while managing his challenges. He continues to move forward and is maturing into a well-mannered gentleman.

Caleb's changed our world for the better. He's taught us it's ok to be a distinct individual. He's inspired us with his love of learning. He's humbled us as parents and pushed us to love deeper and better.

Happy Birthday sweet Caleb. Hoping for many more joyous celebrations to come.

Connor's turning seven on Saturday.

Connor made a more demure entrance. He arrived just when he was suppose to, with enough manners to make his appearance right before lunch. We gazed at our new son with surprise. He looked little like his older brother. His skin was rosy, and his hair a mixture of reds and blondes.

From the beginning, Connor loved to be held. His little body quickly molded to the curves of my arms. I held him so much I began to treat him as an added appendage, and learned to cook and clean with him curled in my arms. (I suppose, this explains why he had the most difficulty giving up his "seat" when two younger brothers made their entrances in subsequent years.)

From an early age, Connor exhibited empathy and kindness that must have been planted in his DNA. As such, Connor's always been a good friend. It also means he's deeply impacted by the sufferings of the world, and convicts us about our giving to the needs of others.

Connor is smart. His humbleness mask the full extent of cleverness. But, he wows us with his speedy mathematical mind and love of reading.

Connor's brightened our world. The kindness and love he exhibits to others and us is heartwarming. His sensitivity to the needy is inspiring.

Happy Birthday dear Connor. We hope for much happiness and many wonderful future celebrations.

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