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.