Last month I wrote birthday blog posts to my oldest son, who turned 15, and to my daughter, who turned 12. Also celebrating his birthday in October was my youngest son, who turned 4, but since he is too young to care whether I write about him, and since he got way more presents than his older brother and sister, I haven't been in a hurry to do a birthday post for him. But in the interest of equal time (I know, I know . . . equality is overrated), I thought I had better stop procrastinating.
(And to all you smart-alecks out there . . . yes, all of our children celebrate birthdays in October. And I don't know what is so special about January.)
Since I told birthing stories about his siblings, here's the short version of Evan's. He was born right on time on his actual due date. I accompanied a choir rehearsal the night before, woke up at about 6:00 a.m. (just in time for my water to break), was driven to the hospital by my husband, and birthed Evan shortly after 12:00 p.m. Weighing in at 9 pounds, 5 ounces, he was my smallest baby, but he has turned into the most physically demanding child of the three. I'm not sure whether that's because he is actually more physical or because I am older, but I think it's probably a little bit of both. He is also my most gregarious child (poor thing--he is a total extrovert in a houseful of introverts).
At his birthday party we asked Evan what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer: "Five." Then in an effort to clarify the question we asked, "But when you're grown up, Evan, what do you want to do?" His answer (delivered without a moment's delay): "Play with swords." I love this child's conviction. (And I'd say he already has a head start on the swords.)
Sometimes because of the 8-year difference between Evan and his older sister people ask if he was an "oops" baby. The answer is a resounding "no." Although there was a phase during which my husband and I felt settled in our family and thus did some reproductive "planning," within a few years we reconsidered that decision and began hoping for another child. But God in his omnipotence apparently decided that now it was our turn to wait, and wait we did, until both of us were almost 40. But how great our joy the day we welcomed this child into our lives.
It has not been an easy four years with him, because as he has so richly blessed our lives we have during that time also been burdened by much, and I sometimes struggle with a deep sense of guilt that I have too often viewed my youngest child as one of the burdens. For that I ask my Lord's forgiveness. For although Evan has sometimes challenged us in ways our first two children did not, he has also brought a sense of fun and adventure to our lives that I don't think would otherwise be there. And because of him we have all been called to love and serve more selflessly than we would have otherwise done.
Although Evan's biological birthday was almost two weeks ago, an even more important date for him was two days ago, on November 9. It was on that date in 2003 that he was welcomed into His Lord's family through the waters of Holy Baptism. Last week in observance of that occasion Evan's godparents invited his entire family out for dinner, and they followed dinner with another birthday party at their home, one at which a baptismal cake was served that consisted of a chocolate inside (depicting Evan's sinfulness), white frosting (depicting the perfection of Christ's sinlessness that now covers Evan), and blue sprinkles (depicting the waters of baptism). In addition to his family party and his baptism party, Evan also celebrated (for the third time in one week!) with his preschool class. Here's a photo from that celebration:
Happy birthday to my littlest sweetie!