In our family of five, we celebrate four of our birthdays within a twelve day period between the end of July and the beginning of August (and, if we include my parents and my siblings, we celebrate eight of our combined eleven birthdays in this period of time! It's crazy, man!!). Between kids' parties and family dinners and the making of cakes, it's usually a very busy time around here.
Today Seth turned 9. Nine years old! Amazing. Although he came home at almost age six, I feel so blessed to have known him at ages 5, 6, 7, 8, and now 9.
My kids are all extremely different in personality. If there could be opposite ends in three different directions, that would pretty much describe my kids.
Seth is my hard-won, precious middle child. My child who loves so deeply but has such a hard time showing it...even sometimes recognizing it. My child who would do anything for his family - whether his family here or his first family in Ethiopia. He is a hard worker, always willing to pitch in and help out, and in some ways the bigger the job the better; he aims for perfection always but is slowly learning to be ok when that doesn't work out for him. He adores animals, oohs and aaahs over every dog he sees as we drive about the city, and one of his favourite things to do these days is look up pictures on the internet of various dog breeds; he meticulously and consistently checks his pumpkin and tomatoe plants every single morning to see how they are doing and how much growth has happened since the day before; he loves watching tv and movies and is drawn to anything that smacks of technology; he is becoming very Math aware and has recently been making some new connections in this area, but learning to read will continue to be a challenge for him for a while yet; although at first I thought Seth was introverted, his inclination towards quietness (particularly outside the home...he can talk endlessly at home!) has, I've learned, more to do with his insecurity around language and vocabulary than it does with how his batteries are recharged, and the truth is that he's actually quite extraverted and tends to not like to be by himself for long periods of time; he is amazingly focused when he is working on a project, whether it's cleaning out the van or building a lego project or organizing the tupperware drawer or trying to finish an "I Spy" book or figuring out why his remote control car isn't working and fixing it; he's great with his hands and learns best through a hands-on approach; he loves to help out in the kitchen, especially if he has the opportunity to cook or bake with me; he loves talking about and learning about God, despite having some strange ideas about God as a type of magician, I think; he is very cuddly despite appearances, and has a hard time not leaning on me or sitting on my lap or sitting close beside me or reaching for my hand; he's hugely compassionate for people (and animals) in need, and I've learned because of Seth's big heart to carry money and a kind word of blessing with me so that we can give both to people at street corners; he's the most observant child I've ever known, whether it's seeing something that's changed since the night before or knowing where he is in the city or knowing what needs to be done before we can head out the door; he is a somewhat fussy eater and doesn't like all foods, but because he's determined to be as healthy as he can be, he eats whatever healthy foods I put in front of him and even asks for as much of our home-juiced super-greens as possible and drinks them despite the shudders going through him while he does it; he adores Finn, his puppy dog teddy that he's slept with every night since he came to Canada; he is getting better and better at understanding his feelings and being able to take risks to express them; he's fun to play with because he tries hard at everything and sometimes hard to play with because he tries hard at everything and doesn't like to lose; he has boundless (and I do mean boundless) energy and goes at full speed alllll day from early morning until he's required to go to bed; he's very athletic and a beautiful runner; and he's the kind of kid that is going to make an awesome husband and father some day because he's giving and sacrificing and looking out for those he loves.
For his birthday, Seth wanted to take his brother and two of his closest friends to a nearby amusement-like park, where they rode go-karts, played mini golf, rammed each other in the bumper boats, and so on. Then the kids came back to the house for homemade coffee ice cream cake with a graham/almond crust and marshmallow topping. From there we went out for dinner as an extended family so that his grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins could celebrate his birth, too. It was a big party day!
His gifts from Geoff and me were: Three books (two about dogs, of course; and one "extreme challenge" I Spy book, which he will love); a rainbow loom; and, best of all, two private horse-back riding lessons that he is over-the-moon excited about!!
He had a great day!
Seth, you are a remarkable boy and a joy to parent. We love you so much and we're proud of you! Happy 9th birthday, my child. May God bless you and keep you over the coming year and make His face to shine upon you.