It's a really busy season, here at The Gang's Headquarters. Regular life, crowded in by part-time jobs, camps, lessons, momma-taxi runs all over the valley, the normal everyday mini-crises that come with five kids, and so on. So busy, in fact, that I forgot to write Shaggy's b'day post. (sigh. I'm so embarrassed!) I'm grateful that he's so laid back and humble that he is okay with a delayed honoring. I guess the fact that he doesn't even read the blog every day (gasp! I know, right?!) makes my "running behind it all" pretty okay with him, too.
But have no fear - we did celebrate our guy. We celebrated off and on all day. Every time he came into a room (before and after he put in a 9 hour day at work), at least one of us said, "Happy Birthday Shaggy!" And every time I saw him and Li'l Empress in the same room, I reminded her that big brothers need lots of birthday hugs and kisses. She was On.The. JOB! And quite happily I might add!
Which brings me to one of the things that I most appreciate about my Shaggy boy.
The other day, we were in a store, chatting while the littles were milling around us. For some reason, Baby BlueEyes felt compelled to hug Shaggy. In a store. In public. Which, I have no problem with. But I was watching it all carefully, trying to gage Shaggy's reaction and being prepared to step in if I sensed that he needed a rescue from the inevitable swarming that one hug from one sibling almost always triggers from the other littles. It never happened. In fact, Shaggy wrapped his long arms around BBE's head (giggle!) and waved me off.
He said, "It's okay. Really, I know I went through a stage where this stuff bugged me before. But I'm over that. I don't mind public displays of affection anymore. Weird, I know." (or something to that effect...)
And it's true. Shaggy is one of the most loving, caring, tender-hearted and affectionate kids I know. He never makes the younger siblings feel as if he doesn't have time for them. He is "present" with Li'l E's constant barrage of conversation, even when her toddler stuttering turns the conversation into an exercise in patience. He listens to the things I say about respecting their developmental abilities and tries to honor them in the process. He is unfailingly sweet to his cousins and is such a "safe" place for all the little(er) people in his life. In fact, yesterday at work, his employer's two kids worked with him almost all day. He was telling me all about it: their stories, their interests, their personalities and so on. All without a hint of impatience or irritation at the shadows they were all day. In fact, I think he really enjoyed himself!
I've watched this trait grow and bloom in his life over these last two years and I just know that God has something unique and amazing for the ministry coming in Shaggy's adulthood. Here's some end-of-the-day pics I clicked, of all the sibs givin' him some final birthday love...
Excuse the poor quality of the pics... It was late, and all I had was my phone. I really need to learn how to use that the camera on that thing....
I know. I don't even have words for this one.
Gosh, I love these kids!
Happy Birthday, Shaggy!
You are absolutely the best guy for
the job of big brother to this gang.
And firstborn to this Momma.
God really, really blessed us all
17 years ago. At 4:12 p.m.
and every single.second.since.
I love you.