Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Caleb

This afternoon Caleb was sitting at the kids' table in the kitchen, working on painting a new wooden treasure chest he received for his birthday, and out of the blue said, "I have a good life."

Caleb has always been a happy child, and his amazing smile--complete with sparkling hazel eyes that turn into moon slivers when he grins--has always dazzled anyone who sees it. Add to that his bouncy, thick, curly, dirty blond hair that has never been brushed or combed (just tousled), and you've got one of the cutest kids around! Well, in my opinion anyway.

My son, who just turned six, very often lives in his own world. The boy loves movies, and he is one who truly gets lost in them. If the TV is on, he literally cannot do anything else but watch it. It's actually pretty funny, unless you're trying to have a conversation with him. Then it's frustrating. He likes to act out whatever he's been watching, so we get to see many a Disney/Pixar movie re-enacted in the Partridge home. Oh yes--and his next birthday party theme changes constantly, depending on the latest movie he's seen.

Puzzles are also something Caleb loves to do. I love watching him focus on putting them together, and he doesn't do it at all the way that I do. He has no regard for the rule of doing the outer edges first. He simply sees which pieces go together. He also enjoys building and creating and designing. When he comes up with an idea, he looks around the house and sees what he can use to turn his idea into reality. He constantly impresses us with his creations. We may have an engineer on our hands!

Now that Caleb is in school, he is excited about reading, writing, and learning. He came home telling me all about the artist Paul Clay one day, and I was fascinated by all the details he had absorbed. He takes his homework seriously and is eager to show me all his papers as soon as he gets in the van after school. Lately he has been really into creating his own books at home. He is both the author and the illustrator, and on the back of each bunch of papers stapled together, he lists all of his previous works. Then he takes his books to share with his kindergarten class. He is proud of the smiley faces that he gets every day on his classroom behavior report, and so am I!

My son has a strong desire to be good and do what is right. Kevin and I always knew we wanted to name our son Caleb, and in reading about Caleb in the Bible, I loved that he was constantly described as having "a different heart." I think that describes my Caleb perfectly! He is kind and sensitive, and he has the gift of encouragement. He gets so excited for his sisters! He finds joy in bringing joy to others, and he's very good at it.

Happiness and contentment really describe Caleb. He showed this trait off even whilst in the womb, in that he had no intentions of leaving that warm, comfortable place on his own. So I had to be induced in order for him to be born. I was scheduled for the induction five days past his due date. I was so big, uncomfortable, and just ready for him to be born. Ready to get on with the process, I called the hospital early that morning to confirm our appointment.

"Ma'am, we're not sure that we're going to be able to take you today, because our rooms are full of women already in labor."

Silence on my end of the line.

"You can call back in a couple of hours and see if anything has changed."

Trying not to burst into tears, I reported the information to Kevin and his mom, who had already come to the house to take care of Callie. They encouraged me to go lie down and try to rest. A couple of hours later, I was awakened by a voice saying, "Carrie? It's time to go to the hospital." Groggily, I got up, and Kevin and I still laugh at how backwards that whole process was, since it's usually the wife waking the husband up with "It's time!". Nevertheless, I was ecstatic that the hospital now had room for me! We were checked into a room at 1:00 in the afternoon, and at 7:02 p.m., Caleb Aeden Partridge was born!

While I was pregnant with Caleb, I really worried that I couldn't love him as much as I loved Callie, my first-born. Of course, now I know how silly that is, but it truly worried me. But as soon as I saw his sweet face, I was smitten, just as I had been with Callie and then later with Katie. A mother's heart has an amazing capacity for love for her children, and whether she has one baby or twelve, her heart is equally filled to overflowing.

Every night while our children are sleeping, Kevin and I go into their rooms and just gaze at them. (This is especially important if it's been a wild and crazy day with them.) When I bend down to kiss Caleb on the cheek, I often have to move his light blue blanket out of the way. He has slept with this blanket every night since he was born, and it shows! (He actually used to wad it up and sleep with it right on top of his face when he was a toddler.) It is well-worn with love and has a tattered silky tag, which Caleb calls its tail. He's our little Linus.

While Caleb is definitely sweet and tenderhearted, he also has plenty of "boy traits." My sister Laurie says that she's never seen a kid who so badly wants to be thrown around! He loves superheroes and weapons and sports and guys' nights watching Star Wars with his Daddy. And of course, he thinks that bathroom humor is hysterical.

I tell my Caleb every day that he's my favorite little boy in the whole wide world. He loves this statement and always repays me with his famous grin, a tight hug, and a "Thank you, Mommy." As I'm typing this, he just came to snuggle with me on the couch. I never get tired of this, especially because I know that the days of him wanting to snuggle with his Mommy are very limited. So I'll be ending this post now.


Emily said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet little boy! You can tell from his pictures that he must be a sweetheart! I have 3 little boys now & I love that they love to cuddle, too. It really is a precious time & also very fleeting, which breaks my heart!!

jcbullock said...

That was perfect! He is such a sweetheart! And such a great cousin! :) Tyler loves getting to play with Caleb and wrestle, do kung-fu, be superheroes, and all of the "boy" things that they love!

Gabby said...

That was so sweet Carrie! I love reading your blog!

Amy said...

We have a Caleb that will be 6 in January. Yours sounds so much like ours it was almost a scary read. We, too, knew well before Caleb was born that we wanted a Caleb, and I love all of the verses in scripture that describe WHO Caleb was. I still pray for those characteristics for our Caleb. Thanks for sharing.


Baby Donaghy said...

Carrie, I love your blog. It's such an encouragement to me as a mother (even when I'm getting limited sleep at night.) Being a stay at home mom has definitely been a change for me, but everytime I read your blog it makes me appreciate being with my daughter more and more. Thanks for the great post- and the continual encouragment!

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

One of my greatest hopes in writing is that it will encourage someone else. In the movie SHADOWLANDS, C.S. Lewis says, "We read to know we are not alone." (I'm not sure if he said that in real life.) It's very true! And stay-at-home moms need that encouragement--to know we are not alone--just about more than anyone. Hang in there and ENJOY this time. From reading your blog, it looks like you're soaking it all up, which is wonderful. Catrece looks like such a sweet baby, and we can't wait to meet her! Thanks for reading my blog. :)


Ashlee said...

I like the name Caleb. As Nick and I think about other names for future children, that one made our list. :)

Anyway, he sounds adorable. :) I also enjoyed hearing about your thoughts on whether or not you could love him as much as Callie. I've wondered that too. I love Noah so much I wonder, how can I feel this way about another child! But I'm sure God can love each of His children with an unfailing love so if we let Him live in us, I guess we'll have enough love to go around to as many "blessings" as He gives us.

And just in case you wanted to know, I added your blog to my google reader & you already had 21 subscribers on there! You're a great writer so I'm sure there are more followers than that. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Ashlee. And, yes, God simply multiplies our love for each of our little blessings. I hope you do have a Caleb of your own one day. :) I'd love to meet Noah--and you!--one day.