Following our tradition of low-key parties on the "in-between years", we had family over the Saturday before Carter's birthday to celebrate. He had ZERO cares about what we ate. His only opinions were about what we played, having a cake that involved chocolate and sprinkles, and his own glass of sweet tea.
So he played hard with his favorite people, read to all of them, and blew out five candles.
Carter opened presents that were all so thoughtful...all so perfect for him and consumed far more sugar than he should have. He ate his favorite snacks and a ham right off the grill. He ran outside most of the day, and I am fairly certain never put on a pair of shoes. It was just his favorite kind of day.
To be loved as this guy is loved....is just more of a gift than he could ever know. And I'm discovering...there's just no way to love someone than loving their little ones, you know? There's no way any one could care for me in a way that speaks to me more than loving my three littles. There's nothing like it.
For family that drives, shows up, wraps presents, listens to easy-readers being painstakingly sounded out, helps set out and clean up, throws balls, chases runaways, pushes wagons, and wrestles and plays...It's more than I can express. To know you are loved so thoroughly for so long...what better thing can you give a person just figuring out this world?
It helps foster bravery, I think. To know there is always a place to fall...it helps with the jumping.
Anyway, all my metaphors aside, Carter had a delightful birthday. Four was such a fun year...I am really excited about getting to know this five year old of mine. This determined, interesting, kind-hearted guy...
I took this rare opportunity when all the cousins were not napping simultaneously to try to get a group photo. I hate group pictures of kids. Well. I don't hate the picture. I hate the process. I despise trying to line them all up, get them all to look, make them all smile...just feels like losing. But on this day, for whatever reason, I really wanted one. Everyone pitched in, and the kids were remarkably cooperative. No one fell, cried, or ran away. Total win.
These little hams made about fifteen different faces for me on command, and the series would have made such a great video.
I love these littles...and I am so glad cousins are a part of my kiddos' world!
Happy Birthday Carter!