Monday, November 4, 2013

Eight was Great, But Nine is Prime! Happy Birthday, George!

I'll never forget the memorable evening, 9 years ago, when I began to labor at home in happy, yet nervous, anticipation of the arrival of our third son, George.  It was 2004, a presidential election year. I was determined to hang out at home for as long as possible, and spent the night on the couch drifting in and out of sleep, watching the ballot counts swing back and forth between Bush and Kerry while the contractions came and went.
At the crack of dawn, the time between contractions was getting much shorter, and I knew it was time for Steve to speed me away to the hospital. The moment our sweet, perfect, baby George was born I didn't anticipate that every single person in the hospital would ask me if we named him after George Bush, but they did. Over and over again, they asked.  Over and over again we said, "NO!!" (Oh, he should be so lucky!)
George and my dad happy to be holding each other.
George was lovingly named after my dad's father, George Anthony Splichal.  I cherish the photos and stories we have of Grandpa George, and love sharing them with our George. He knows darn certain he's not named after a past president.
Sunday we celebrated George's 9th birthday.  Now that he's figured out the calendar system, he's been counting down the days until his special day for over a month.  His enthusiasm is really so endearing.

The birthday boy in our family always knows to expect a smothering of hugs and kisses, birthday breakfast, the recollection of funny stories from his past and a walk through pages of past photos from birth to present.  You would think they would tire of this routine, but they live it and love it like it's something fresh and new every single time.  Traditions are wonderful like that, aren't they?
After Mass hungry tummies came home and feasted on a huge brunch, and after the last bite, George opened his gifts. I love how the brothers really get into shopping for each other.  They strategize every detail from which store to browse to how much they can spend to finding that one thing they know the birthday boy will love. It's painful to keep it a secret until the big day, and trying to contain their squeals of delight when he opens their perfect present is impossible!
We let the boys give George his big gift, which was a new bike, and I thought it was so wonderful the way they had to orchestrate the whole thing so that it would be the ultimate surprise.  Steve and I just sat sipping our coffee and watched the plan unfold.
George was exiled to another room while Ben and Andrew retrieved the bike.  Then, Ben had to cover George's eyes for the big reveal.  The moment he saw the bike, George played the perfect recipient, expressing great surprise, gratitude and excitement all at once.
True to boy form, George took it to the pavement, racing up and down the street with his brothers who had to prove which bike is the fastest.
Later that afternoon, Steve took the boys and George's buddy, Tim, to All-Star sports for some laser tag and rock wall climbing.  Then, we met Steve's parents for supper and birthday cake - a perfect way to end the day.
It's a beautiful experience for me, George, to recall your birth story, your providential entrance into this world, into our hearts, into our home.  There is no one else in the world like you!  You, and all of your wild enthusiasm for hunting, sports and crafts, you and your carefree approach to life, you and your tender generosity, you and your pure boyish charm that wins my heart over every day.  I am better because of you - the world is and will continue to be a better place because of you.  I hope you know what at gift it is to be your mom and how very much you are loved on your birthday and every day of your life!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday to your George!!!
    I always enjoy the way you share about your boy's birthdays!!!

    BTW - thank you for the scarf from Raven + Lily - it came last week and I love it!!!


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