Monday, August 30, 2010

The Dump Truck

We were lingering our local Target store for nearly an hour before ending up in the rows of toys. We had looked at music, books, some clothing, and a few other miscellaneous things before resorting to the toys. You see, Caleb had received a gift card to Target from one of his little friends for his birthday. The gift card was burning a hole in his pocket. Unlike me, when my youngest gets a gift card, he wants to spend it. He does not want to wait until there's something that he's just DYING to have... He wants to spend it NOW!

So painstakingly, we shopped. It was just daddy, Caleb and myself hunting for the pot of gold hidden somewhere within the walls of Target. After cruising the Legos, the action figures, and the board games, we stumbled upon the aisle with the cars, mini skateboards and Tonka trucks. Knowing that Caleb LOVES to take things apart and build things, I saw this box of mini skateboards with all of their mini accessories, parts, decorative stickers, etc.. I thought, "Wow... THIS has got to be the perfect thing. Surely our search will be over now!" I turned around to show Caleb and I saw the sweetest thing. I stopped dead in my tracks. Every bit of my anxiety over being in this store searching for the impossible came to a screeching halt.

My nine year old boy was on his knees taking a big ol' Tonka dump truck off the shelves. He was tinkering with the truck, learning about it's bells and whistles. What he learned was that it didn't have many bells and whistles. It didn't have any batteries. It was a plain and simple truck that had a back end to fill up with boy "stuff" (be it dirt, rocks or whatever) and then dump. J and I both saw him and our hearts just melted. On the front of the box it had the big number 3 in red. This was the age recommendation. Caleb soon saw it and his words took our melted hearts and broke them.

"I think I'm too big for this, but it sure is cool, huh?"

We explained to him that it was a SUPER cool truck. We told him that he actually received 2 Tonka trucks for his 2nd birthday and that he used to play with them all the time. We reminded him that we still had the trucks in our storage area under the house. We had put them there for safe keeping when we noticed that he had stopped playing with them as much. His eyes got big as he remembered, and he paused.

"Dad, do you think I could get something else with my card, but we could go home and wash my trucks and take them outside to play with again tomorrow?"

I don't know who was more excited... Caleb or my hubby. Right there in the middle of Target's toy aisle we explained to Caleb that there are some things that you never get too old for. We told him of the importance of always doing what you love to do (as long as it's something positive, and not negative, of course). J and I shared a moment with our son that we will never forget. It was a teaching moment... for all of us. Caleb taught us the importance of being true to yourself, no matter what others think. He was worried that his big brothers would think that he was a baby for wanting to play with Tonka trucks again. We tried to ease his mind about that, and in the end, it worked.

Not only did he pridefully pull the trucks out the next day and plop himself (along with his daddy) right into a big pile of red dirt, but his brothers were drawn to be out there with him. They respectfully allowed him his own "Daddy time" for awhile, but they lurked and then joined in later. Yes... my 13 year old, almost 11 year old, 9 year old and 37 year old boys were outside playing with trucks in the dirt, and what a sight that was to see.

Our hearts are only as old as our minds let them be.

I will have to thank the little boy who gifted Caleb with the Target gift card. He not only gifted Caleb... He gifted the hearts of our entire family.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Birthday # 9!

Tomorrow is my baby's birthday. Caleb will be 9 years old. Did you get the part about him being my BABY???? ~ SIGH ~

Tomorrow we are heading up to Tahoe for a week's stay on the lake. We will be celebrating Caleb's birthday BIG TIME! We are bringing the kayak, the raft, the fishing gear, books to read, games to play... etc., etc.. We are SO excited!! Today, my youngest son gifted me though. Today he gifted me with climbing up on my chest (well, he's so big now that actually, he covers a LOT more than just my chest) and falling asleep. I got to hold him in my arms on the couch and listen to him breathe just like I did the day he was born. Mmmmm... it was so very sweet, and it truly was his gift to me.

Caleb inspires me. He inspires me to be fearless about living life. He lives his life with such vigor and the smile that he carries on his face reaches the depths of every soul that he comes in contact with. I love this boy. When he tries something new, he always gives it his all, and usually... that is more than enough!

Caleb can make people laugh at the drop of a hat. He comes up with the funniest things to say. He can also warm you up with the biggest, strongest squeeze of a hug that you have EVER felt! Actually, right now his nickname around the house is "Baby Huey". He LOVES to go around picking people up. He has picked me up off the floor, as well as both of his big brothers. I have no doubt that he could probably even pick his dad up, but we won't allow him to. Hernias aren't a good thing.

This boy of ours is such a gift. He lifts me up in more ways than one.

My life is richer because of you, my sweet Caleb. Happy birthday...



Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Vision of Summer

So... Here we are in the first week of August and I feel like it is actually the first week of summer! We are officially done with baseball and swim team... for now. We get a short break and then fall ball and soccer start. When our third boy came along I used to get all kinds of comments about how busy we were going to be. Our lives would be full of sports, sports and more sports. I told everyone that we probably wouldn't CHOOSE that lifestyle. Well, years down the road... I wouldn't have it any other way.

Caleb finished his first swim team season strong. He took several first place ribbons at each meet, and then he took a 4th place in the back stroke for the district championships! He swam against A LOT of other swimmers to get this ribbon. We are so proud of him and all of his hard work in the pool. He earned himself a special award at the award ceremonies too. He can't wait to get back in the pool for swim team next season!

We have been busy playing too. The boys and I have taken a few short road trips during the past couple of weeks. We traveled to the city a couple of times for baseball games, days of thrift shop hunting (Ooooo.... one of our FAVORITES) and lunch with Dad. We have canned jam and pickles here at home. We are waiting on the tomatoes to ripen so that we can make some pizza sauce to can this summer too. We are also gearing up to pick blackberries next week so that we can prepare them for pies, ice cream, etc..

Every sumer we pick an old TV series to rent and watch from the beginning of the series. We have watched 'Gilligan's Island', 'Brady Bunch', 'The Waltons', and this summer our choice pick was 'Leave it to Beaver'. I'm fascinated with how much the boys LOVE these shows. Just goes to show you... children crave good stuff. They would rather watch shows like these over the weirdness on the Disney channel ANY DAY! Makes my heart sing.

During the next couple of weeks we will be busy gearing up for school. There are rooms to clean out, drawers to clean out, back packs to clean out and fill again, etc.. Yesterday my mother in law gifted each of the boys with a $50 gift card to Old Navy! WOW... gift cards to help out with school clothes... now THAT'S an awesome thing!!!

We also get to go enjoy our family vacation in a little over a week. We are so excited to get away and spend quality time with each other. It's always much needed, but this year... I'm especially feeling the pull.

Summer is a time for neat traditions. Playing sports has indeed become one of those traditions, but we always fit plenty of time in doing these other fun and meaningful things too.

I'm grateful for the ability to do it all. What does YOUR vision of summer look like?