It was two years ago that our youngest boy made his frantic and harrowing arrival into this world. Two years ago that I gave birth on my bedroom floor to the little baby without a name and snuggled him close, not at all disappointed not to have had the baby sister Micaiah had insisted was coming.
And that kid.
I wish I could describe him accurately, but words won't do him justice. If you could just spend a day or two with this child, you would see what I mean.
You'd see the way he lights up a room with his ever-present grin. He is truly the most expressive and joyful child we have had - and considering the other two weren't terribly cranky kids, that's saying something. (Even his most recent exclamation of "Ew, yucky!" as we change his diaper accompanies an appropriate facial expression of disgust.) The way he says, "Tank ou" every time anything is given to him - and will repeat it ("Tank ou, Momma. Tank ou, Momma. Momma, tank ou!") until he is told he is welcome. And, of course, he responds with the same courtesy, "Welcome!" with pointed politeness whenever gratitude is expressed to him.
You'd see how he puckers his precious lips whenever Momma asks for a kiss, or how she doesn't even have to ask often, because he offers them freely to everyone. In fact, you'd melt at the kisses he blows EVERY time he tells someone bye, bye or the way he has to run to the other bedroom for hugs and kisses with brother and sissy every night before bed, scampering off yelling, "Tisses, Caiah!" And the way they greet him eagerly, often falling over giggling mid-hug, just as happy with the night-time ritual as he is.
You would think it was adorable the way he runs to the garage door whenever he hears the car pull in, yelling, "Daddy home!" waiting for his hug, or even the way he asks every morning, "Daddy?" as I change his diaper, hoping it's not a work day. But that doesn't mean Mommy doesn't get any appreciation. If I've stepped out for a run to the grocery store, I get to see his happy face as soon as I come through the door, while he's tugging on Daddy, "Momma home! Momma home!" He definitely knows how to make us feel loved.
You'd probably also get to see his ornery streak - the side that snatches a toy from his siblings and runs away with glee, not necessarily because he wanted it, but because he knows they did. Or the angry glare he shoots at anyone who dare suggest he relinquish the pilfered play-thing and then the pouty reluctance with which he offers it back to the child in question.
You would definitely appreciate his eagerness to help. If he sees trash, he holds it up to confirm, "Tash?" and then dashes on his little toddler legs to dutifully place it in the proper receptacle. If we're cooking, he'll pull up a stool to help or run to the cabinet where his dishes are kept to find a plate, fork or cup (or all of the above). And if we're dishing out snack, he'll serve his brother and sister their snack cups before he accepts his own.
And even after noticing all the above, you'd be surprised just how many times a day you won't be able to help saying, "He's just so cute!" because it really is surprising just how many ways it shines through. You kind of want to give him a big hug all the time - unless he's getting into something he shouldn't just about every time you turn your back. Then you'll curse his blessed cuteness because it's just so hard to want to discipline that face.
I can't believe he's only been here two years and I wish I could freeze time, because I just love his tender and spirited personality and I wish I could frame it and keep it forever.
So, happy birthday to this guy - one of the many reasons I smile.