Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peter turned 4!

It was hard putting this guy to bed the night before his birthday. To think I’ll never have a three year old child again.  It nearly killed me.  This is the most angelic little guy you could ever dream up.  I hope 4 is just as golden, but I’ve seen three other times what four can bring.  Kids do change.  Angels to devils sometimes.  It’s hard to believe that could happen to this guy.  He’s a powerfully good little soul.
I could feel it the minute they placed that wet little body in my arms four years ago.
Peter did not have a hard time going to bed the night before his birthday.  He had been waiting and waiting for his big day, literally counted down the days.  At Christmas time he started to get psyched that his birthday was coming up.  We told him he had to wait until after Charlie’s birthday (which was in January).  So the day after Charlie’s big day Peter woke up giddy with excitement to celebrate his big day.  Oops, It’s so easy to forget how literally 3 year olds take things and how long each day is for them.  He was crushed when we told him he still had to wait.  So I made him this little calendar.  “My Calendar” he called it and he crossed off the days until it was his big day.  That boy does have a mountain of patience for a child.  I wish I could spread if his out between his older siblings.   

His siblings might have been even more excited for his birthday than he was.  They spent the week before preparing.  THey (mostly Hazel) spent the whole day before making that cardboard car for him.  And they hung little gifts above his bed with tapeHe was thrilled with this morning birthday surprise.     
Boy do his siblings adore him.  You’d think with a younger sibling so golden they might harbor a little resentment, but they all adore this kid.  If I ever get mad at him for doing anything wrong he has three staunch little defenders coming to his rescue.  I’m sure that’s going to mess him up one day, but maybe not.  Could anything mess up this kid?  IMG_8557 We had a breakfast birthday party since Peter was done with waiting (and since we had a packed day with church and a speech later that night).  The kids showered him with presents and cards that they carefully picked out and planned.  Cute Hazel, of course, saved up her money bought him something extravagant.  That girl is generous beyond belief.  IMG_5900IMG_8560 I love pictures of kids giving and receiving gifts.  So much emotion.  So much joy, on both sides.  IMG_8570 IMG_8574  IMG_8577 IMG_8580  IMG_8588 IMG_8591 Charlie (who usually wants to give a good gift, but is too poor to afford anything new) gave Peter his old MP3 player which peter has been coveting. 
And then came the present from Grandma and Grandpa Shumway.  Somehow they always pick winners (see Peter rubbing his hands together in delight?!).
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IMG_8604 IMG_8611   IMG_8619 IMG_8625 IMG_8627 
It was so great to have Grammie there for his birthday party.  She wrapped her gift in the traditional Eyre tin foil wrap.  A dino car that he is wild about. 
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IMG_8633 IMG_8635 IMG_8637   And a four year old birthday party isn’t complete without Gronk flakes and a Nerf gun. 
Peter requested Mac and Cheese for his birthday lunch which we fit into our busy Sunday morning, only to have him barf it all over himself and me just as we were packing up to go to church.  Thank goodness for my mom who just stepped right in and took the big kids to church while I stayed home with Peter.  I was sad that that little guy didn’t feel great on his birthday, but so glad to have three quiet hours in the house with him sleeping by me.  Before he settled into that happy post barfing sleep I retold him the story of his birth and we looked through some pictures of his birth day.   Time slowed down and I was able to remember some of the feelings I had on the day he was born.  One of the most thrilling days of my life (click here for the story of his birth….magic).   
IMG_8650 IMG_8651  He woke up happy and ready to eat a bite or two of his requested spaghetti and meatballs and have some cake.  This kid puts a smile on his face and sees the bright side of life even if he’s not feeling great.  It’s really who he is.  I love that cheerful streak that runs deep in him.   
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I’m not sure what life would be like without this sun shine in our lives.  Peter is full of light and happy joy and delight and wonder.  He is always wanting to please, to make us all happy, to do the right thing.   I’ve worried at times if this is too much of a responsibility for someone so little….but then I realize that it’s just who he is, how he came.  He came with this amazing natural ability to make others happy, to love, to enjoy, to brighten up the world.  We are so happy that he was sent to us. 
It’s tempting to keep telling Peter not to grow up.  He is my baby.  I want to hold him forever just as he is, his little body bouncing around our house, leaping into my arms.  But lately I’ve been trying to tell him it’s ok if he grows up.  That I know he’s going to be a fantastic big person, that I’m sure he’s going to forever bring us joy.  I can just feel that deep in my bones. 
Happy Birthday Peter.  We love you more than you can know. 


  1. What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday to your big 4yo boy!

  2. Wow. What I wish is that every mother could see her children as deeply and clearly and vocally as you.

  3. How do you continually catch those breathtaking moments of joy and freeze it with your incredible lens? I didn't even realize you were taking pictures! And your words match your photography perfectly! What a dear child Peter is! And his siblings are astonishing as well! I'm so happy to have been there to take it all in! You are right about kids bringing more and more joy as they grow up (not every day in every way). I have to say that you have magnified your middle name in spades...JOY!



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